Ogun State Government says it is focusing more on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mechanisation among others to drive its various agricultural programmes in 2021.
In a statement signed by the Press Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Ahmed Taofeek, he said the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, disclosed this while revealing the ministry’s plans for 2021 in his Oke Mosan office, Abeokuta.
“There are two things you must put into consideration if you want people, especially the youths to embrace agriculture and these are ICT and Mechanisation. This, we have taken care of by ensuring that ICT was included in all our youths-based agricultural programmes. You can use ICT to monitor your farm, as well as mechanise every aspect of your production while the farmer only monitors.
“Another thing you cannot take away from modern-day agriculture is technology and competitiveness, this underscores our linkage with all these variables, which helps in increasing productivity, thus giving the farmers edge in terms of ready market for their produce among others,” Odedina said.
He advised youths to renew their interest in agriculture, maintaining that it is the interest, passion and commitment they show towards agriculture that would guarantee their success
Odedina disclosed that there are off-takers and ready markets for produce in the state as modern-day agriculture is market-driven. : “About 80 per cent of farmers in Ogun State grow maize and cassava and the four main buyers of cassava are based in the state, so you won’t be wrong if you grow them.
“This is not to say that there is no market for other crops, we have ensured that our farmers don’t jump into production without an assured market, that is why we link them with lots of investment advice,” he added.
Odedina submitted that despite the challenges of the outgone year including the restrictions occasioned by COVID-19, the state government, without precedence, drove an agricultural system that empowered close to 15,000 people, saying with that, it has deliberately set a high standard and the government was poised to break the record.
The Commissioner hinted that due to the success the ministry recorded in its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), Ogun Broiler Project among others in year 2020, it would be expanding to other areas of the Agricultural value chain across the state.
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“We are going to be moving to other areas, we are going to expand our Anchor Borrowers Programme, with the Ogun Broiler Project and others. You will record that because of the success of the Broiler Project, the governor has graciously approved its replication in all the 20 Local Council Areas of the state,” the Commissioner said.
He further revealed that because of the success of the ABP on cassava and rice, the state is now the focus of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ABP in Cocoa, Oil Palm, Cotton, Aquaculture and Cattle, saying, it was highly encouraging that the strides were made even in a COVID-19 year.