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Kwara to heighten support for Agribusiness

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By Usman Oladimeji

At least 120 crop and fish farmers have benefited from the farm project.

The Kwara State administration has reaffirmed its endeavor to heighten investments in Agriculture and agribusiness in order to curb hunger issues and enhance the state Economy. Emphasis has also been laid on creating an enabling environment to foster partnerships with the private sector, which will, in turn, extend support for farmers. This was disclosed in a statement by the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, at the Farm Kwara Harvest and Cash-out 2022, in Ijara-Isin, Isin local government area. The event was an agricultural scheme designed by the state government to fight hunger and reduce Poverty through support for smallholder farmers.

This scheme, which was earlier initiated in Adanla (Ifelodun LG) in 2021 and later extended to Ahun, Oke-Iya Ipo and Isin communities, has benefited at least 120 crops and fish farming since its inception, apart from creating jobs for hundreds of people who were engaged on the farms. AbdulRazaq, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Abdullateef Gidado Alakawa, noted that the sector is witnessing significant progress lately. He asserts that it is becoming glaring that agribusiness is the suitable way to ensure a sustainable and secure environment.

70 farmers had earlier received the support of the administration.

AbdulRazaq commends the support of Olusin of Ijara-Isin, Oba Julius Ademola, and Elerin of Adanla Irase, Oba David, as well as the communities contributing to the accomplishment of the project. He also appreciates the affected banks for their sincere commitment to the project. According to Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Non-governmental and Chairperson for Farm Kwara Programme Committee, Mrs Toyosi Ayobola Thomas, the state government is striving vigorously to increase the beneficiaries of the farm project from the 120 provided in the previous year to 400 ahead of the next farming season.

In collaboration with financial institutions, the government provided zero-interest loans for 50 startup farmers to plant 25 hectares of Maize and beans in Ifelodun LG, 12 hectares of Cassava at Irepodun LG and 7.5 hectares of Cassava Isin LG. This is in addition to the 70 farmers that receive the support of the administration in technical areas and extension services such as harvesting, processing, packaging, Logistics and market linkage support. She noted that the projection notion was birthed from the governor’s call to develop a Sustainable Agricultural model.

Committee is partnering with FRIN to train 120 farmers.

She also mentioned the Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. Jemilat Bio, the Technical Assistant on Agriculture (now GM KWASSIP), AbdulQuowiyu Olododo, the General Manager of the State Geographic Information System, Abdulmutollib Shittu, and a few technocrats from the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance as members of the Committee that designed the project. Toyosi said that the FCMB and Brightway Microfinance Bank has collaborated to offer funding for 45 fish farmers in Ijara-Isin.

Moreover, the Farm Project has provided a lot of beneficial advantages to the community, which has generated more jobs, improved their standard of living, and provided knowledge on agriculture and best Productivity enhancement best practices. Toyosi also highlighted that the committee is partnering with the Forest Research Institute of Nigeria to train 120 farmers on farm development and Agroforestry enterprises. Toyosi, who expressed gratitude to the state governor for initiating the project, commended Brightway Microfinance bank and FCMB for their partnerships by making funds available for the farmers in all stages of the farming activities. It is said that the concept was modelled after the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) project.

The significant contributions of the project.

In his remark, SSA Job Creation and Deputy Chairman for Farm Kwara, Barrister Aliyu Alhassan, it was remarkable that each of the women and youths who participated in the Farm Kwara Project has sold their produce and are now counting their profits, adding that the job-creating initiative will be extended to other local governments. Jejelola Motunrayo, a beneficiary from Adanla who cultivated cassava, said the program enabled her to master modern farming techniques, including value addition through training. The high community figure applauded AbdulRazaq for running impactful leadership to achieve inclusive growth and reposition the state, affirming that a progressive Governor like AbdulRazaq deserves another mandate to consolidate his records of achievements.


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