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By: Adesoji Adetona
…….flags off 2020 planting season.
In an effort to obey the Covid 19 protocol of maintaining physical distancing, Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, yesterday flagged-off this year’s Agricultural Planting Season in Akure, with the loan of #2billion naira to farmers in the state.
At the event which took place at the Government House, Akure, Akeredolu reiterated his administration’s avowed commitment to the development of agriculture in the state.
The governor also announced the facilitation of two billion naira Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) loan for land clearing, youth empowerment and other agricultural development projects in the state.
The latest launch of the planting season is the third of its kind since Akeredolu came on board as the governor of Ondo State.
Since the Akeredolu-led government came on board, Ondo State has recorded a number of milestone achievements in the last years as a result of which there is significant leap in the number of youths, women and even professionals who have embraced agriculture and agric-business.
In spite of these remarkable successes, Governor Akeredolu is still not comfortable with the level of food sufficiency in the state.
He has, as a result, urged all stakeholders’ sincere dedication and commitment to agricultural development for the purpose of actualising the avowed dream of self-reliance in food production.
Also, Governor Akeredolu-led government has embarked on a number of measures and support programmes to mitigate the challenges that could hamper food production chain this year due to the ripple effects of Covid 19 pandemic.
“A few of the prioritised measures to mitigate the challenges are: distribution of 20 units of farm tractors with accompanying tillage implements to farmers at 30% subsidy; bush clearing of 1,250 hectares in 15 locations across the state to open up more land for small holder farmers; approval of palliative loan for disbursement to farmers at 6% interest rate as an intervention to guarantee good security during and after the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Other measures include the release of the sum of N9,098,210.65k to Ondo State Agricultural Commodity Association (OSACA) and the sum of N1,819,642.13k to Ondo State Cooperative Federation Limited (OSCOFED) respectively from Agricultural Development Fund as grant to support agricultural development in the state; distribution of improved maize seeds to farmers as part of palliative to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and ensure good security; and the state government’s plan to distribute 500,000 and 50,000 cashew seedlings to farmers to further boost cocoa and cashew production,” Akeredolu said.