Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state has concluded plans to link investors and off-takers of agricultural produce in the state with farmers with sufficient guarantees to ensure prices are stable and yields are high as farmers prepare for the 2018 farming season.
Obaseki disclosed this at the weekend, when he met with the executive members of the Association of Esan Professionals (AEP) at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State.
According to the governor, “farmers in the state now have ready markets to sell their produce at the end of the farming season, as the country has a growing population that needs to be fed.”
He said, “The state government will assist farmers get investors. The government will soon advertise for off-takers of agricultural produce. Those who want to buy agricultural produce at the end of the planting season, will come to Edo to buy from our farmers.”
“We will attract off-takers who need maize, soya beans and so on, to buy from farmers here. The state government will get the order from the off-takers, how many metric tons of maize they need, what type, and how much are they willing to pay, and match them with local farmers,” he added.
On new initiatives to improve productivity of farmers in Esanland, he said, “We were in Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma to see if they have dams, if we can partner with them and get the French investors to locate their farms there.
We are also going round to see if we can get private individuals who have land for pig farming to partner with the investors.”
The governor added that, “We were in France to meet with some of the largest pig farmers who are coming in with their improved piglets to do business in the state.”
He said that the state government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) credit facilities will ensure that agriculture is fully commercialised in the state, adding, “We are helping farmers with land to get investors who will do business with them.
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We have already commenced preparing land for the next farming season. We have the guarantee on ground for farmers.”
He also commended the governor for spareheading the rehabilitation of the Benin -Ekpoma – Auchi road, but appealed for more action on issues confronting the Esan land.