Bororo/Fulani Herdsmen, Farmers Agree On Peace

By Francis Ezediuno

Th Fulani herdsmen and Yoruba farmers in the State of Osun have resolved on modalities to maintain peace and order in the state.

The parties agreed when the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command held a stakeholders sensitization programme to create awareness on the activities of herdsmen who might transverse the length and breadth of the State in search of water and fodders for their animals as the dry season approaches thereby destroying farmland along their path.

The State Commandant of the corp; Mr. Aboluwoye Akinwande while welcoming stakeholders thanked them for past successes recorded and their willingness to cooperate with the Agro-Ranger Unit of the Corps by making information available to the Unit as and when due.

He noted that this approach would help in no small measures in nipping in the bud any crisis between the farmers and herdsmen in the State.

The Commandant appealed to the participants to be peace loving and ensure that their co-existence is to foster strength and unity among the various ethnic groups.

The head of the Unit, Assistant Commandant Yaqee R.O. urged stakeholders to embrace peaceful dialogue in resolving disagreements instead of resulting to violence.

According to him, “neither party can live in isolation. There is need for each ethnic group to co-habit peacefully in other to achieved progress in any community even the country as a whole”.

The Assistant Commandant revealed that over thirty five cases had been resolved since the establishment of the Unit while several of such issues have been nipped in the bud.

He commended the Osun State Government for setting up the Peace Committee and the efforts of Alhaji Mudashiru Togun, the Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties, in making sure issues are resolved peacefully.

“The stakeholder meeting was to seek cooperation among the participants, prove ways of tackling the menace of farmers/herdsmen crisis even as we approach the dry season”, he added.

He called on all groups and associations to be vigilant and give urgent and useful information to the Corps and promised absolute assistance in ensuring peaceful coexistence.

Meanwhile, the farmers have said that it was not the resident Fulanis that are usually the problem but the nomads usually known as Bororo.

According to them, “ most of them are involved in cattle rustling and pilfering activities”.

Notable cases in the State were mentioned which for instance included cattle which were made to graze cashew plantation, eat up the nuts and later pass out the nuts when they are back to their pen. The Fulani then select the nut, wash and sold same.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria through their representative commended the NSCDC for performing their mandate responsibly and dutifully.

He also applauded the effort of the Corps in ensuring peace among the stakeholders.

Both parties enumerated some cogent points to maintain peace and order.

Bumper Harvest Reduces Cost Of Local Rice In Jalingo

A survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday at Gadar Bobboji, Kasuwan Bera and Mile Six Markets, has shown that the price has significantly decrease.

Rice worth N650 and N750 weeks ago are now sold for N480 and N550.

Similarly, a bag of local rice sold between N28, 000 and N30, 000 two to three weeks ago is now selling at between N23, 000 and N24, 000.

When contacted for comment, the leader of rice sellers at Gadar Bobboji Market, Alhaji Nura Mohammed, attributed the price decrease to availability of the commodity in the market.

He said that the bumper harvest recorded by farmers in the state had contributed to the increase in supply.

Mohammed predicted that the price could drop further ahead of the Yuletides if the current supply of rice to the market was sustained.

It was however discovered that the price of foreign rice has slightly increased in the markets.

A measure of foreign rice which costs N950 two weeks ago is now selling at N1, 000, while a 50kg bag of foreign rice has gone up from N18, 500 to N19, 000.

Stakeholders Worried Over High Rate of Farmers Loan Scheme

Trade Initiative Network, other stakeholders, and farmers under the auspices of the Federation of Agricultural Commodities of Nigeria (FACAN) have expressed worry over the high interest rate on the Nigerian Insurance Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) credit scheme.

They lamented that despite the lofty objectives of NIRSAL, and the interest rate draw back, small scale farmers may not be able to access the funds because of the double digit interest rate adding that the operational guidelines put in place by NIRSAL was only good on paper but the workability may not be feasible.

The stakeholders are concerned that due to the bias by commercial banks towards farmers banks usually delay in processing their loan resulting in untimely disbursement of the facility and the eventual diversion of the loan by farmers.

Speaking during a one-day stakeholder consultation on increasing small holder farmers access to credit, the National Program Coordinator of Trade Network Initiative Chris Kaka said “no farmer given loan at a double digit interest rate rate would be able to make return and go home happy”.

He observed that overtime the agriculture sector had never lacked intervention funds, but unfortunately small holder farmers  has been lamenting lack of access to credit.

Kaka further lamented the level of awareness of the credit facilities amongst smallholder famers as only the elites and leaders of farmers organization are aware of the scheme, stressing the need for proper channelling of the information down to the grassroots.

The program coordinator further noted that farm inputs provided to farmers under the Anchor Borrower Scheme are over invoiced when compared to the price at the open market stressing the need for the Central Bank to address the issue.

An official of FACAN Tunde Bakare attributed the inability of farmers to access credit facilities to the fact that they are not carried along in the policy formulation, implementation and monitoring of the credit scheme as they usually use the top-bottom approach rather than the bottom-top approach.

The Vice President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria and the National President Potato Growers Association Daniel Okafor lamented that farmers are not carried along in the implementation of the disbursement of the NIRSAL loan.

He said “As of today no member of the association I represent has been able to access the NIRSAL loan except for those who got it on a personal basis”.

He stressed that farmers association needs to be carried along in the disbursement of the loans so as to ensure repayment of the loans.

Grain Importation And The Case For The Nigerian Farmer, By Deji Rotimi

In recent days, the importation of grains precisely maize and the dearth of the Nigerian farmer have been generating quite a lot of argument for and against.

After filtering through the various chatters across different platforms, I deduced the contention of the whole situation as some agricultural based groups are complaining about the importation of maize at relatively cheaper prices by some food and beverage firms for production and how it will crowd out the market for local farmers; thus requesting the government to ban the importation of grain.

As a stakeholder in this industry, I am privileged to have a holistic view to some of the situation across the value chain; from engaging local farmers via contract off-take to advising government on various issues.

There are various viewpoints I can employ to address this issue, but I will stick to the most realistic one.

There are several statistics bandied around on the annual national demand for the country’s maize. I estimate an annual demand of 15million MT per annum and a food and beverage firm would require at least 500,000Mt of maize annually.

Now, I will proceed to describe the mammoth resources and onerous tasks that are required to produce just half a million metric tons of maize per annum in Nigeria.

First, assuming we estimate a generous production yield of 3MT/per hectare, a land size of more than 150,000 hectares will be needed to cultivate at a cycle that is 1,500 km2. The entire land size of Lagos state for example is just 999.6 km2.

With the current operative land reforms or lack thereof, acquiring such contiguous land mass without much bureaucratic and legal hurdles will border on the miraculous; nay impossible.

Secondly: to clear and prepare the entire Lagos, at the current rate of N450,000 per hectare, a ‘modest’ sum of N67.5 billion will be expended.

Our readiness and practice of mechanized farming in Nigeria is still largely a mirage. This can be partly attributed to inadequate funds, access and other factors that we cannot examine in the here and now. But we will pick on tractors, amongst other machineries, for this discourse. 

We would need about 1,500 tractors to operate on 100 hectares of land each for guaranteed efficiency. At my last check, a quality tractor of up to 45hp sold between N15 and N25 million. That is another N37.5 billion. Combined with cost of land, we are already looking at a potential N105billion venture.

Here, let us not even touch on the chronic lack (and the associated problems) of qualified personnel to operate and manage these tractors. This is one nationwide feature that seems deeply entrenched in perpetuity, no thanks to our destructive stubbornness towards adopting global best modern farming practices, as well as our failure as a people to have constructively, diligently, and sustainably integrated our youth and young adults into the agribusiness industry at various levels.

Thus we will have to rely on our one and only, overused and faithful aging farmers, who presently average 70 years of age and above and will in 5 to 10 years time be closer to sterility, if not mostly late.

At a rate of two hectares per farmer, we will have to mobilize about 75,000 of these our parents and grandparents to perform backbreaking slave labour in the guise of farming.

Oh, of course we will have to subject them to unimaginable penury worse than they currently experience now, all because they are the best that we can do as a nation.

And we will have to deploy a lot of hoping, praying and fasting to wish out bountiful harvests from their belabored labor because that is another thing we are great at doing, as a nation.

And by the way, we will have to import about 75,000 hoes and cutlasses and some other basic farm implements from our friendly neighbors in Ghana and Benin Republic, because currently we do not produce much of them. I will not bother putting a cost to this.

After cultivation and drying of the 500,000MT of maize to standard specifications between three and six months using sun-drying methods. We have to store them in silos. So we are in luck: The Federal Government just concessioned some silos manufacturing plants across the country. But Alas! The highest single location capacity is only 32,000MT; which falls far short of the 500,000MT needed.

By the way, to build a 500,000MT capacity silo, it will cost a princely sum of N100billion. The subtotal cost implications of the few steps in the production process I identified above is N205billion, which is in no way exhaustive.

Comparatively, the total agricultural intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is less than N300billion. If by some extraordinary miracle, we are able to get all the funding from both government and private sector and map out a patriotic strategy with all stakeholders (government, industries, farmers) to produce the 500,000MT of maize required for that one company, we still have to factor in time into the variables. Ideally, we will need about 5 to 8 years of intense and consistent work to attain a level of process expertise.

Thus, the question is ‘can we wait?’ Nigerians are renowned as impatient and with the now legendary ‘now now’ mentality that has become characteristic of us as a people, very few individuals, entities and even government leadership can muster such virtue of patience and focus required to see this work to its optimum potential.

The contentious importation of maize by some Nigerian based agribusiness concerns is not an arbitrary exercise. And neither is it a measure of economic sabotage. Rather, it is a well thought out tactical step aimed at ultimately sustaining a key aspect of the agribusiness industry in Nigeria.

Considering the myriad of our unfavorable natural and man-made circumstances, economic and social constraints highlighted above, it would be impossible for the businesses concerned to survive, much less thrive given the crippling effects that an alternate strategy of sourcing for their raw materials of grains locally would have had on their operations.

From land unavailability to prohibitive cost of acquisition; from lack of skilled manpower to scarce capital of finance and machineries, all the way to the unfeasibility of time constraint, the importation of maize should be seen and embraced as a strategic solution of making the most out of an impossible situation.

Borno Farmers Cheerful Of Bumper Harvest

Some farmers in Borno have expressed optimism of recording bumper harvests in the 2017 cropping season.

47,996 Farmers Benefit From N2.6bn Loan In Osun

At least, 47,996 of the 80,000 farmers registered in the state have benefitted from N2.6billion agricultural facilities in the state of Osun coordinated by Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme, OREAP.

Revealing this over the weekend, Member, OREAP Leadership Team, Mr. Gbenga Osobu, stated that various interventions in the Osun agricultural sector has not only lifted the living condition of local farmers, he revealed the interventions has helped position the state as the food basket of the south west.

Osobu whilst speaking over the weekend further revealed that another N753m was disbursed as loans to farmers during the Osun Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QUIIP I and II).

“3,645 pig farmers benefitted from some N476million loan disbursed to individual farmers, while a grant of N40million was awarded Pig farmers’ co-operative societies” Osobu Stated.

He further listed the achievement of the current administration in the state to include the construction of two (2) commercial and six (6) smallholder 10,000 capacity feedlots on a 78hactares farm.

Continuing, he said, “The OREAP programme has trained 57 youths in livestock fattening who have fattened 2,200 live stocks in the state’s improved genetics programme. We have established a 78HA Cattle Hub with a capacity to cater for 10,000 Cattles.

“It may interest you to know we have also secured another 2,000HA of lands for additional Cattle hubs across the state.”

The member of the OREAP leadership team further confirmed to this paper that over 2000 pigs have been sold by 5 of the 40 Osun Farmers who were trained in Germany.

Osobu listed other achievements to include the over 200 millionaires made through Osun Broiler Outgrowers Production Scheme, OPOBS I, land validation and perimeter survey in 9 farm settlements using GIS and remote sensing Technology (1st in southwest Nigeria). 20,000Ha of farmland validated and 4,211Ha newly discovered and allocated through GIS and remote sensing Technology.

 

 

 

Another achievement highlighted includes 5,000MT of fertilizer sold to farmers at 50% subsidized rate; 1,830 rural farmers in 61 local communities in collaboration with UNICEF given farm inputs from the state; 500,000 free cocoa seedlings; 6,000 kola nut seedlings; 6,000 bitter kola seedlings; 64,000 oil palm seedlings and 25,000 cashew seedlings were provided to farmers free.

Osobu revealed that two storage facilities with a combined capacity of 1,500 MT was built by the present administration in Oyan and Osogbo; with another 100 cribs with a combined 1000 MT capacities built across the state.

“The Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration since its created OREAP some few years ago, has given supports to farmers to cultivate 80 hectares of yam clusters across the state; 410Ha of rice production at Onilapa, Ogbagba.

“The Osun government under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has grown the state forestry reserve has grown to 90,000ha” Osobu stated.

Dangote Tomato Signs MoU With Farmers In Gombe, Sokoto

The Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kadawa, Kano state has concluded arrangement to purchase fresh tomatoes from farmers in Gombe and Sokoto States.

The company had already signed an agreement with Tomato Growers Association for the procurement of the commodity from the two states.

The Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita disclosed this in Kano on Tuesday.

He said that the company found it necessary to go into the agreement following the non-availability of the commodity in Kano and other neighbouring states that produced it in large commercial quantities.

He noted that the CBN anchor borrower programme had adversely affected tomato the production this irrigation season, especially in Kano State where many farmers shifted to wheat and rice production.

“The wheat and rice loans given to farmers this year have affected tomato production in the state.

“This is the reason why the product is still costly as a big basket which was between N400 and N500 last year, is now N3, 000 in the market. “So we cannot buy it at the present price.

“When the price was between N400 and N500, we used to buy from farmers at N1, 200 per basket,” Kaita said.

He said that the company would continue to monitor the situation until it was satisfied that the commodity was available to enable the factory resume production.

“If we resume production now, the commodity will be scarce and once it is scarce, the price will go up. This is what we don’t want for now,’’ he said.

On why the company did not give farmers loan to produce the commodity as it did in the past, Kaita said that out of the 100 farmers that benefited from the loan, only 20 of them were able to repay the facility.

“So we cannot give them another loan now since most of them have yet to repay the earlier loan they enjoyed, “Kaita said.

He said that as soon as the commodity was available for processing, the factory would resume normal production.

“We are ready to resume production because all our machines are in good condition and ready for operation,” he added.

17,000 farmers empowered through intervention loans to boost agric in Osun

No fewer than 17,000 farmers at least, have benefitted from the loans scheme of the Osun Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QUIIP) as part of the comprehensive program of the Rauf Aregbesola administration to boost agriculture.

A set of 77 farmers’ cooperative groups benefited under the QUIIP I while another set of 419 farmers’ cooperative groups benefited from both QUIIP II programmes. Some of the cooperative groups have as much as over 200 as members.

While the sum of N164, 882. 920 million was disbursed to farmers under QUIIP I programme, N686, 786, 612 million was distributed under the QUIIP II, coming to a total of N851, 669, 532 million.

A statement by the Bureau of Communication and Strategy signed by its Director, Semiu Okanlawon, quoted the Coordinator of QUIIP, Mr. Dele Ogundipe as giving the breakdown Tuesday evening when farmers under the QUIIP program gathered at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park Osogbo to express appreciation to the government for its massive support for food production and general agric business in the state.

This was just as other heads of agencies told the huge gathering the extensive support program of the Aregbesola administration since inception.

 The Osun State Agricultural Development Corporation (OSSADEC) gave out N250million loan to farmers in 2010 while in 2012, it gave out a sum of N500million.

Also as part of the massive provision of infrastructure to aid farming, the Rural Accessibility Mobility Programme (RAMP), constructed for the state 662km rural roads for easy access to farm settlements.

 In addition, out of 300km World Bank-Assisted programmes, 225km roads had been completed through N12bn World Bank assisted loan where Osun paid a counterpart fund of N2bn.

These breakdown was made by the Project Manager of the RAMP, Engr Lere Oriolowo.

However, Aregbesola called on all farmers who had benefitted from the agriculture loans to repay the initial capital so that the money could circulate among other farmers in the state.

The governor frowned at a situation where a paltry sum of N364, 693. 21 has only been repaid out of N1. 421bn government lent the farmers.

On micro-credit scheme, the Governor stated that Government also made soft loan available for the development of small and medium scale businesses in the state.

 He held that the loan was targeted at micro-enterprises such as traders, artisans, market men and women and entrepreneurs.

The General Manager of the Osun Micro-Credit Loans Agency, Dayo Babaranti, had earlier announced that almost 25,000 beneficiaries had benefitted from the facilities from the agency.

According to the Governor, the state borrowed N2bn from the CBN and deposited it with the Osun State micro finance Bank for the people to assess at free interest.

Aregbesola said, government undertook to pay the interest rate pegged at 9 percent by the CBN, which totalled N186 million.

He averred that the interest people were supposed to pay on the principal borrowing was thus taken up by the government so as to make it easy for the borrowers.

Aregbesola said that against the backdrop of the current economic crisis, the whole country is neck-deep in crisis which only massive agriculture can remedy.

The governor therefore made passionate appeal to farmers across the state to stand up and redouble their efforts towards massive engagements in different forms of agricultural practices from poultry to cash and food crops.

Governor Aregbesola noted that the only panacea to the current economic imbroglio is for every serious minded government to rise to the occasion and look for alternative means by exploring the abundant potential in agriculture.

Aregbesola said: “At this critical juncture and judging from the economic crisis of the present, our state has no alternative than to diversify and stop relying on what comes from Abuja, if we must survive.

“Therefore, our dream is to turn the state into a modern, industrial and commercial agricultural state.

“The situation at present requires that we do everything humanly possible to awaken the huge potential of our agricultural sector.

“Failure to do this leaves us with only two alternatives. It is either we float or sink, but in our state, we shall float because our administration is determined to leave no stone unturned at ensuring general wellbeing of its citizenry in making the state food basket of the nation.”

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PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola in Interactive Session with Osun Farmers

The governor, state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola earlier today held an interactive session with farmers from across the state to find ways to improve on current agricultural practices in the state.

Aregbesola was in company of his deputy, Otunba Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, the chief of staff the the governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and other top government functionaries.

The interactive session was held that the Nelson Mandela freedom park in the state capital of Osogbo.

 

See photos below:

 

 

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, during an interaction between Mr Governor and Farmers on how to improve on agriculture in Osun, organised by State Agriculture, Quick Impact Intervention Programme, at the Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola shares a moment of laughter with his deputy, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori as the the chief of staff to the governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola looks on.

 

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, during an interaction between Mr Governor and Farmers on how to improve on agriculture in Osun, organised by State Agriculture, Quick Impact Intervention Programme, at the Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola listens with keen attention as a farmer Mrs Okunloye Comfort who complained about cattle bearer’s infringement on her farm land addressed the gathering.

 

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Gov. Ganduje Disburse N1 Billion Naira Interest-Free Loans To Farmers

Kano state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje today (Tuesday) disbursed N1 billion interest-free loans under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), to 517 farmers associations, comprising about 4, 000 members in the state.
Launching the scheme at the Government House in Kano, Dr. Ganduje explained that the fund was secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria, for promoting commercial agricultural enterprises.
The governor said the loan, which would be disbursed to small and medium scale farmers groups is part of efforts by his administration to diversify agriculture, reduce poverty, create more jobs and enhance food security.
“Agricultural commodities included in the value added chain to be covered by the loan are dairy production, fishery, cotton, maize, wheat and rice”, the governor highlighted.
“To actualize this initiative and fast track development of agricultural section of the economy, the need arose to reduce the credit on agricultural production to enable farmers benefit from the potential of the sector such as to increase output, generate employment and diversify the revenue base of the state”, he maintained.
Describing agriculture as the way out of the current economic recession and an opportunity for farmers to boost their harvest, Governor Ganduje revealed that a workshop would also be organized to train beneficiaries of the scheme on efficient management of the funds.
Consequently, the governor urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the loans, warning that a special mobile court would be constituted to prosecute any beneficiary who defaults in re-paying the loans at the end of its tenor.
The representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, during the occasion, Malam, Abubakar AbdulKadir who made a presentation titled “CACS Fund: Accessibility, Distribution and Recovery”, explained that the loans were repayable in two years, to enable as many farmers as possible to benefit.
On her part, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Barr. Zubaida Damakka Abubakar, who presented a paper on “How to Run a Successful Agricultural Enterprise”, was of the opinion that farmers should imbibe the attitude of bookkeeping, sourcing raw materials at cheaper price and maximizing time of production to ensure accountability.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Sani Yadakwari a cattle breeder, whose association received N5 million assured that they would use the loans prudently.

We Will Continue To Empower Farmers For Better Productivity – Aregbesola

Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has insisted that his administration would spare no effort in making agricultural sector the bedrock of economic sustainability in the state.

Aregbesola also reassured his administration readiness to continuously turn around the fortunes of agricultural sector in the state for better productivity.

Governor Aregbesola gave the assurance while addressing the members of the State Farmers Association, during a meeting at Oke-Osin, Atakumosa West Local Government area of the state.

Governor Aregbesola who described agriculture as the only sustainable alternative to current economic reality, said his government would do all it could to empower the farmers for an increased productivity.

Aregbesola contented that the era of perceiving crude oil as sustainable economic resources in the country has gradually faded out, hence calls for the need to genuinely diversify the economy for better productivity and an enhanced general well being.

Governor Aregbesola further explained that his government since assumption of office has been investing significantly on agriculture having considered it as the everlasting sector for economic sustainability.

He said as part of his six Integral Action Plans for the good people of the state, his government had successfully identified agriculture sector as the only surviving tool for socioeconomic and political integration.

Governor Aregbesola attributed some of the successes recorded in agriculture sector to what he regarded as prompt empowerment and motivation of farmers in the state, stressing that on no account does his administration fails to prioritize the sector in its annual economic planning and appropriation.

Aregbesola said as part of his administration’s commitment to revamp the lost glory in agriculture, the current government had resolved in moving round the rural areas where it was believed farmers were predominated in order to appropriately articulate the general needs of farmers and enhance greater productivity.

He revealed that the appropriate steps taken by his administration in resuscitating the dearth state of agriculture sector in the state, thus brought about the landmark achievements recorded so far.

Aregbesola who expressed dissatisfaction over the current state of the nation’s economy predicted that unless government at all levels appropriately diversify the economy into agriculture, mining, solid minerals, science and technology among others, the economic vision was at stake.

Governor Aregbesola further stressed that his administration had successful turned the state from being regarded as a civil service state to an agrarian state, disclosing that the economic power of the state lies in the agricultural-farm produce.

He said his government has greatly devolutionalized powers to grassroots so as to encourage the rural dwellers and as well turn the state to food basket of the nation.

He added, “our government having being informed on the need to diversify economic decided to bring the farmers to the limelight of economic sustainability .

“We had brought dividends of democracy to the grassroots and as a matter of fact today, we have recorded greater benefits on these genuine initiatives.

“As part of our mission to support subsistence farmers to commercial farmers, we have so far granted loan facilities to our farmers and also disbursed the needed facilities and chemicals across the state’s farmers.

“To this end, we are projecting further in our resolves to facilitate more benefits and supports to facilitate more participation in farming.

Governor Aregbesola therefore encouraged all to develop interest in farming so as to reduce the unemployment rate and as well increase the agricultural productivity in the state.

Earlier, Chairman, Farmers Field School, Mr. Timothy Akingbade commended Governor Aregbesola for keeping the promises made to the people of the state, saying the impacts of the present administration have been greatly felt over the years.

Mr. Akingbade implored the state government not to relent in its efforts at repositioning agriculture sector, just as he assured ultimate support of farmers.

While giving analysis of the loan facilities provided for the farmers in the state, a representative of the Quick Impact Intervention Programme for Farmers, Mr. Eluyemi Arowolo, disclosed that almost N1billion has been given out as loan to farmers across the state.

Mr. Arowolo who confirmed the statement in the report issued out by the organization on the loan facilities being provided by the Bank of Agriculture, said the organization was determined to assist any farmer who is confident of what he does.

He therefore urged those who have benefited from the loans to as a matter of necessity refund it within the agreed period so as to open advantage for others.

In his remarks, the Olosin of Osin, Chief Lawrence Apata lauded Governor Aregbesola for prioritizing farmers’ welfare in all his policies and programmes.

Chief Apata who described Governor Aregbesola as a lover of farmers, said in the history of the state, no government has ever paid adequate attention to farmers as being done by the present administration.

He called on the state government to continuously supporting farmers and provide the needful needs so as to enhance the better participation in farming and as well boost the agricultural sector.

Chief Apata who identified social amenities as the major challenge of rural dwellers, thereby implored Governor Aregbesola to fast track the provision of modern facilities especially mobile networks, motorable roads, portable water, electricity among others.