There ‘s one thing distinctive about high quality: it speaks for itself. This reality was fairly evident when, lately, the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, once more carted residence the Governor of The 12 months gong in agriculture. Abiodun, who got here prime on the 2020 version of the award organised by the Nigeria Agricultural Award (NAA), was celebrated on the ceremony of the Feed Nigeria Summit held on the Sheraton Resort and Towers, Abuja. And he didn’t maintain again on his administration’s intent on a paradigm shift within the sector: “Consistent with our resolve to associate with the non-public sector and supply enabling surroundings for investments and agribusinesses, we now have turn out to be the world’s epicenter as a reliable host and associate, particularly with the federal government initiative of building a cargo airport to complement the Particular Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) of the African Improvement Financial institution (AfDB) and different donor-funded tasks, together with the IFAD/FGN Worth Chain Improvement Mission (VCDP), wherein our state has recorded great success with 12,000 beneficiaries supported with expertise, inputs, and credit score.”
The governor, apprising the gathering with the anticipated positive factors of the cargo airport that his administration intends to ship to world agricultural worth chain actors and gamers subsequent yr, posited that his authorities had a agency perception in inclusive agricultural alternatives that might not reduce out smallholder farmers, youths and ladies. The agenda, based on him, is to extend help to smallholder farmers and guarantee job creation, meals and diet safety, agricultural industrialisation and linkage of growers/farmers to the economic course of, in an revolutionary worth chain strategy. He added: “Ogun is the biggest egg and broiler producer, largest producer and exporter of lemongrass oil, largest hub for aquaculture in West Africa (based on FAO) and lots of others… The Ogun State Financial Transformation Mission (OGSTEP) geared toward supporting 40,000 smallholder farmers and Nigeria COVID-19 Motion Restoration and Financial Stimulus (N-CARES) are two main World Financial institution Tasks which might be totally operational within the State to help our Agricultural Agenda. The Agro-Processing, Agricultural Productiveness Enhancement and Livelihood Enchancment (APPEALS) Mission is one other World Financial institution mission that’s in view.”
This, apparently, is nice stuff. When he was adorned as Finest Governor of the 12 months award in agriculture final yr, it was for the varied milestones that his administration had reached in such a short time, together with its built-in strategy to manufacturing, processing and advertising and marketing by means of land provisions/inputs distribution, processing and advertising and marketing with people and company organisations. He was honoured for supporting 40,000 smallholder farmers with inputs corresponding to seeds, cassava chopping, insecticide and herbicide in the course of the 2020 planting season; giving 10,000 farmers fertilizers, palliatives and continued help throughout the state; supporting younger farmers with over 900 hectares of land preparation in 17 areas, with some 2,500 unemployed youths and farmers partaking in cassava manufacturing; establishing strategic partnerships with worldwide growth companions and farmers in large-scale cultivation of rice and cassava in 36 areas in 11 native authorities areas, and empowering 54 pilot youths in broiler manufacturing with every making a revenue of no less than N150,000 per cycle for 3 cycles.
The panel of assessors have been awed by the linkage of 4,462 members to inputs and credit score to the tune of N700m within the cassava worth chain, and the linkage of 1,065 members to inputs and credit score to the tune of N300m within the rice worth chain. They applauded the linkage of 800 members to inputs and credit score to the tune of N360 million beneath the Ogun State Authorities/Federal Authorities/IFAD Assisted Worth Chain Improvement Programme (VCDP), with 394 maize farmers, 54 rice farmers and 21 poultry farmers benefitting from the Nigeria Incentive-Based mostly Danger Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) by means of the CBN. They noticed the purpose within the building of14 solar-powered water schemes in choose native authorities areas, and the institution of a rice processing centre in Eggua.
The listing of interventions have been numerous: the CBN Cassava 5-Star Programme, Cocoa Improvement Initiative and Oil Palm Enlargement Programme, FG/Ogun/IFAD Assisted Worth Chain Improvement Programme for over 3,000 farmers in 11 native authorities areas; the World Financial institution COVID-19 Motion Restoration and Financial Stimulus (CARES) Mission; World Financial institution-Assisted Agro-Processing, Agricultural Productiveness Enhancement and Livelihood Enchancment (APPEALS) Mission; EU/GIZ/Federal Authorities/Lagos State/Ogun State Nigeria Competitiveness Mission (NICOP) for 3,000 farmers together with youths, in tomato and chilli pepper worth chains; Worldwide Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)’s technological improvements and help to farming and associated actions, together with technical backstopping, demonstration farms and enterprise growth in Ogun State.
The Ogun State Financial Transformation Programme (OGSTEP) focused at empowering over 40,000 farmers took off even because the administration concluded plans to hyperlink farmers with tractors, planting materials palliatives and assist them scale back manufacturing value. An Ogun-Kebbi Joint Commision on Rice Manufacturing got here into the matrix. And what’s extra, out got here the Agro-Cargo Airport at Illisan-Remo in Ikenne native authorities space of the state, an exceptional facility scheduled for completion by Could subsequent yr. The purpose is to help the event of the state as a vacation spot of alternative for agriculture within the nation. As is well-known, Ogun holds comparative benefit in arable crops like cassava, yam, maize, candy potato, and money crops like cocoa, oil palm, timbre, kolanut, cashew and rubber. However way more has been achieved since final yr.
Final month, the Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, joined officers of Fan Milk Plc (Danone), CBN and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Improvement on a research tour of Danone Dairy and Stakeholder Facility in Cairo, Egypt. The research tour is a prelude to the commissioning and opening of the dairy amenities at Odeda Farm Institute, which is beneath building. Previous to the tour, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jérôme Pasquier and his crew paid a scheduled go to to agricultural funding areas in Ogun State on August 10th. In any case, a number one commodity participant, AFEX, is already partnering with the agricultural funding firm, South-West Agriculture Firm (SWAgCo) and Ogun State for the event of 5,000 hectares for the manufacturing of multi-crops within the South-West geopolitical zone. Focus crops for the partnership embody cassava, rice, and maize. As Dr. Odedina famous: “Our agricultural agenda as a state continues to be daring and exemplary, and this settlement is a vital step in that agenda. Along with AFEX and SWAgCo, we’re making a staple crop zone as a significant a part of the execution of the Particular Agro-Industrial Zone (SAPZ) for the state, being developed in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Improvement (FMARD) and the African Improvement Financial institution (AfDB).” AFEX will deploy its alternate platform to boost financing for the mission and allow market entry for the produce derived from the mission.
That is not all: an built-in farm property, garri packaging plant and a 200-trainee soil-testing programme are within the offing. The administration has signed a superb variety of MoUs with nationwide and worldwide growth companions corresponding to IITA, HarvestPlus and a bunch of different non-public sector companions on non-public sector-led initiatives, offering the required belief wanted by buyers. Though the interventions talked about listed here are solely a fraction of what’s at present ongoing in Ogun State, they supply enough floor for concluding that so far as agriculture is anxious, the Abiodun-led administration is poised to take the state to the subsequent degree.
*Branco contributes this piece by means of email@example.com