The Minister for Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has urged farmers in Oyo State to set the pace by increasing rice production, packaging and branding for quality export.
Speaking at the launching of the dry season farming by FADAMA rice farmers in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, the minister, who was represented by Dr. Oyeleke Abdulrazaq, charged the beneficiaries to key into federal government sustainability policy of promoting responsible use of land, water and other resources, to practice cultural Eco-Smart agriculture and ensure that the quality of their produce meets Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO’s) standard for human consumption.
FADAMA National Project Coordinator, Mr. Adetayo Adewunmi, commended the state government for timely support and the Oyo FADAMA for involving farmers in the dry season rice production.
He added that only Oyo met the criteria in the South West and is participating in this year’s dry season rice farming.
Adewumi stated further that technical advice would be put in place to enhance farmers’ knowledge on agricultural practice and charged the state FADAMA to sensitise more youths and women in agriculture on rice value chain.
He assured that considering massive land and water resources, Oyo can cultivate thousands of hectares of land for rice production and promised that aggregate centres for collection of produce and Fadama food markets would be constructed.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Barrister Oyewole Oyewumi, in his keynote address, disclosed that the state FADAMA Coordination Office has been very supportive in the implementation, restoration and reposition agenda of Governor Abiola Ajimobi -led administration on agriculture and rural development.
He noted that FADAMA Project is committed to the realisation of employment generation, poverty reduction and food security through increased production.
The state Project Coordinator, Nathaniel Olayinka, said five Production Groups (PGs) from Orelope, Kajola, Ibarapa and Ogbomoso North were supported, having fulfilled the necessary conditions to access the fund.