• 20 LIFE-ND participants receive N20m
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has declared that his administration will stop the age-long capital flight from the country by encouraging massive production of pork as viable alternative to beef in the state.
Akeredolu said this yesterday during the commissioning of Big Dutchman’s piggery and its support facilities at Ilutoro, in Akure Local Government Area of the state, as part of activities to mark 100 days in office.
He said it was in pursuance of his policy thrust, “REDEEMED,” which aims at giving the people dividends of democracy and creating massive employment for the youth population.
The governor lamented the problems facing pig farmers in the country due to urbanisation and expansion of towns, gradually displacing farmers and rural dwellers.
“This edifice is put in place to accentuate the different economic benefits in pig production and processing. Pig, as we all know, is very prolific, as such, rate of return on investment is high. This will undoubtedly translate to increased wealth for our farmers.
“Apart from its jobs creating capability for our youths, dietary intake of lovers of pork would be enhanced, pork being an alternative to beef. More to that, our rural areas would also be opened up for development.”
According to him, “It is mind-boggling that millions of naira leave this state weekly on beef consumption in the form of capital flight. Money that would have remained within to lubricate the economy of the state is lost to other states that supply cow and other meat sources.
MEANWHILE, as part of efforts to achieve agricultural revolution and food security, 20 young farmers have received over N20 million in the ongoing Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE-ND) programme in Ondo State.
The State Project Coordinator, Mr. Olawale Ademola, who also said the LIFE-ND programme would create employment, said this at the official disbursement of working capital to the participants in Akure on Monday.
Ademola noted that it was mainly sponsored in the state by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in conjunction with the Federal Government, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to train 4,250 farmers known as ‘incubatees.’
According to him, the 20 beneficiaries were among the first batch of 250 beneficiaries of the IFAD/FGN/NDDC/LIFE-ND programme, selected from 100 communities across the 18 local government areas of the state for the training model.
Ademola revealed that 4,250 youths were chosen from 100 communities across 10 councils as direct beneficiaries in value chain opportunities that included cassava and cocoa productions, poultry and fisheries.
Speaking on the selection process, he said: “The incubatees were selected by independent consultants, who carried out a thorough screening. They have undergone intensive training by established farmers that we code-name ‘incubators.’
“These incubators are expected to monitor and supervise the incubatees to enable them succeed. The working capital is a take-off loan for the incubatees to start on a good footing. We have four incubators from different communities each, with five incubatees to supervise.”