In line with the World Bank support to implement projects aimed at empowering farmers to boost food production and increase income, Oyo State Fadama III AF has started training rice and cassava farmers with Pre-disbursement Training and Capacity Building at Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme (OYSADEP) Zonal office, Moor Plantation Ibadan.
The State Project Coordinator, Mr Nathaniel Olayinka in his address stated that 13 local government areas: Atisbo, Oorelope, Orrire, Surulere, Ibarapa North, Oyo West, Oyo East, Ido, Oluyole, Ogo Oluwa, Iseyin, Saki West, Iwajowa and Kajola had fulfilled the necessary conditions to benefit from fadama III AF Project.
He said the development objective of Fadama III AF was to increase income of users of land and water resources anchored on cassava, rice, sorghum and horticulture crops value chain in the states that have comparative advantage and link them to organised markets.
Mr Olayinka added that objectives of the training workshop are to let the beneficiaries know roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Project, and to build and improve the capacities of the beneficiaries to increase their agricultural productivity.
He also said that Oyo State Fadama III AF Project is committed to massive and sustainable local rice and cassava production by providing inputs at cost-sharing arrangement of 50 per cent to farmers that are ready to pay their beneficiary contributions.
Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Oyewole Oyewumi in his keynote address said the State’s Agricultural and Rural Development Plan under the restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda of Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration has started yielding good results with various agricultural projects in the state.
He said that local rice and cassava production would increase and become sustainable with the involvement of Fadama III Additional Financing Project.
He added that the country’s agricultural sector must intensify efforts on local rice production to close the wide demand-supply gap which has resulted in volatility of rice prices in the world market, and that rice production must be sustainable to meet demand of the ever- growing population.
Oyewumi noted that rice importation could no longer be sustainable under volatile exchange rates and high demand for local consumption.
Mr Oyewumi stated further that Oyo State Fadama Project has contributed to State government commitment to agricultural transformation agenda with training of farmers, empowerment of youths and women and distribution of farm inputs to 360 rice and 245 cassava farmers to cultivate 360 and 245 hectares of rice and cassava farm lands.
He commended the World Bank for supporting federal and state governments to boost agricultural activities and achieve self-sufficiency in food production, and urged the farmers to utilise the opportunity provided by the Project to improve their livelihood, production and income.
The regional head, National Agricultural Insurance Corporation, Mr Ogunbiyi advised farmers to insure their farming enterprises at two per cent of the total cost of production as premium, adding that insurance covers losses from the crop growth to physiological maturity and the corporation should be notified within 30 days of the incidence. On ravaging of farms by Fulani/Bororo herdsmen, farmers are advised to intensify efforts in the communities to prevent conflicts and guard against such destructive activities.