The African Development Bank (AfDB), has enlisted Ogun State as a special agricultural processing zone to revive all aspects of the agricultural value chain, especially in aquaculture.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, disclosed this on Wednesday when he led the management team of the Ministry of Agriculture to Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR), Farm Village, Eriwe in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of the state.
Odedina explained that the state bidded to benefit from many laudable programmes of the Bank, and had been shortlisted, saying the development would be of tremendous benefit to the state.
He maintained that COVID-19 had crippled many jobs, necessitating state government to reform its agenda in agriculture, for employment generation, as well as food security, adding that his Ministry was ready to render free extension services to farmers and enable them to have access to more land, to boost aquaculture farming in the state.
“COVID-19 has made us reset our agenda in agriculture. COVID-19 is driving people from white-collar job to agriculture. Fish farming is one of the sectors we have identified that can absorb people who have been dislodged due to CPVOD-19 pandemic. We are also here to give free supplementary extension services to fish farmers all the time”, he said.
The Chairman, Governing Council, IDIPR, Prof. Olanipekun Alausa, said the Farm Village was a registered community-based Non-Governmental Organisation, established to fight poverty in the areas of enterprise development, micro-finance, youth development, as well as medical and health programmes.
Represented by the Vice-Chairman, Prof. Abeke Adesanya, Alausa revealed that students from various higher institutions in the country have adopted Eriwe Farm for their internship, calling on the government to intervene in the areas of land litigation, inadequate loans and electrification of the Farm Village to alleviate poverty in the country.