Three more LGs in Ogun benefit from FG/IFAD rice, cassava programme

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By Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

In a determined bid to further combat poverty and encourage food provision, three more local governments of Odeda, Yewa South and Odogbolu are to benefit from the federal government and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) Rice and Cassava Value Chain Development Programme in Ogun state.

The three new local governments are to benefit from the over $100M project under its additional finance programme expected to last for about two years. Already five local governments of the state; Ijebu North East, Ijebu East, Yewa North, Obafemi/Owode and Ifo have been benefiting from the scheme since it took off in August 2014.

Speaking during a one-day sensitization seminar on the project organised for farmers in Odogbolu local government on Thursday, Mr David Onigbinde of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation department, Ogun state management unit of the project said the programme was targeted at fighting poverty, strengthening surplus food provision and providing income for small holder rural farmers who engaged in rice and cassava value chain.

Mr Onigbinde during the sensitization seminar held for the farmers at Odogbolu local government said the success of the programme in the state led to the inclusion of three more local governments. He said beneficiaries of this programme must form a registered group of minimum of 10 and maximum of 25 persons who are engaged in rice and cassava value chain of not more than 25 hectares.

Onigbinde explained that beneficiaries of this programme would pay 50% for various farm inputs such as improved varieties of rice and cassava stem cuttings, fertiliser, herbicides among others while the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) would pay the rest.

He disclosed that if what the beneficiaries of this programme want are farm equipment and machines such as Tillers, Threshers, Sprayers, milling machine, Cassava grater, among others, the VCDP would pay 70% while the farmers would contribute 30%.

Onigbinde said “ this programme is already yielding good result for us in Ogun state. We have built a garri processing factory for them at Baara near Siun in Obafemi Owode local government. We have also assisted these people that are into Fufu processing at Ifo, we have built bridge for some farmers at Yewa North and this has helped a lot to ease their farming enterprise”.

“This project is a well thought out tripartite collaborative efforts of the state government, the Federal Government and IFAD that must be embraced to further fight poverty and increase our food production”.

In his earlier address, the Chairman of the local government, Hon Wale Shittu represented by his Deputy, Hon Abdulateef Adenuga lauded the APC government for investing so much in policies and programmes aimed at boosting agriculture production in the country.

Hon Shittu said  these deliberate policies of Federal Government such as VCDP have led to increase in rice production and decrease in billions of naira spent on its importation to the country.

While thanking the state government for extending the opportunity to the local government, the LG boss urged famers in the local government to embrace the programme promising to ensure success of the project in the local government.