The Ogun State Government said it has already access N700m credit facility to by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over 10,000 farmers across all 20 local government areas in the state.
Stating this on Friday, was the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, during the World Food Day celebration, held at the Arcade Ground, Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The governor added that the theme of the celebration “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together”, was appropriate due to the peculiar situation of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that both youths and women benefited from the credit facility, saying that it was aimed at improving food production in the state.
Abiodun said, ” As countries around the world now “live a new normal” foisted on us all by the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to look, plan and build the future together.
“This year’s celebration has been put in place to sensitise the world at large towards increasing food production with a view to achieving food security and reducing to the barest minimum, the incidences of hunger and malnutrition worldwide.
“Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of our own response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the poor and vulnerable communities.”
He urged countries all over the world to make human nutrition a major plank of their recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis, and make food systems more resilient and robust.
The governor noted that the resultant effect of the pandemic had remained an opportunity for everybody to adopt innovative solutions to build back better and improved food systems.
Abiodun explained that agriculture occupied a unique place in the economy of the state, saying that it had always been the mainstay of the economy.
He opined that the state government had put in place programmes to enhance the fortunes of farmers and encouraged the people to return to the land.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Samson Odedina, in his welcome address, noted that the state government had already cleared and prepared the land for 1,065 young cassava farmers out of 2,500 hectares already cleared by the government for young people.
Odedina explained that the government would continue to liaise and partner with stakeholders in pursuing agricultural agenda in terms of job creation through agricultural value chain opportunities, agricultural industrialisation.
“Linkage of young people /farmers to the industrial process and focus on food and nutrition through promotion of cultivation, consumption and business in nutritious and biofortified foods which are being achieved through strategic partnerships, ” he said.