In line with his Six-Point Integral Action Plan, efforts by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to ensure massive food production in Osun State has received a boost, as 3,000 acres of arable land have been ploughed and planted for 67 farmers groups based in all the 30 Local Governments for the latter year farming. .
The programme which was flagged off by Aregbesola on March 31 has also recorded a major breakthrough in the disbursement of N153.26 million loan facility in cash and kind to the 67 farmers groups.
Executed under the Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QIIP), it was designed to speedily assist co-operative farmers to seize the opportunity of early rains to cultivate arable crops including the provision of inputs like tractorization of farmlands, fertilizers, herbicides and seedlings.
The QUIP model was initiated by the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (O’REAP) to serve as catalyst for the achievement of bumper food harvest.
Modelled to utilize the on-going raining season to assist farmers to achieve improved food crop production, the QIIP model was deployed to provide inputs and land preparation to remove drudgery associated with traditional farming practices.
So far, a total of N49,110,225.00 has been disbursed by the Bank of Agriculture to farmers who have planted food crops like maize, cassava and rice on at least 47 hectares of land.
Beneficiaries of the loan are being given access to the facility in installments for specific operations so as to guarantee judicious usage and prevent misapplication of the fund.
It is after an operation has been satisfactorily completed that the farmers would be able to access the next stage of the loan to carry out the purpose for which it was provided.
O’REAP devised this method to curtail incidence of loan diversion or misapplication in addition to guaranteeing the success of QIIP.
Giving insight into how the project was carried out, Co-ordinator of OREAP and Team Leader of the Planning Group on Agriculture of the Governor, Dr. Charles Akinola disclosed that the multi-agency group was partnering with the Bank of Agriculture to showcase early demonstration of partnership with the private sector and service providers.
He advised members of the public to expect bumper harvest and increased assistance from the Aregbesola administration as the second cropping season of the year approaches.
Akinola stressed that “what we are doing is to aggressively scale up so that we can realise broader impact of O’REAP intervention as we move into the second cropping season and preparing for next year’s planting season”.