By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Kwara State Government has facilitated the disbursement of N115m by the Central Bank of Nigeria to local rice farmers to cultivate 420 hectares of land for the 2020/2021 dry season farming in the state.
Disclosing this in Ilorin, the state capital, at a training programme for dry season rice production organised by Agribusiness Farmers Cooperative Associative Limited, Technical Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture AbdulQuawiy Olododo said the government was able to help the farmers because their umbrella body was well organised and proactive.
He, therefore, enjoined other cooperatives across the state to emulate what the agribusiness farmers cooperatives have done to support the state government’s efforts in the agriculture sector, while urging the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity so that others can also benefit from similar support from the government.
“As part of the efforts of the Kwara state government to ensure that our farmers benefit more from such interventions by the CBN, the government has decided to address the issue of land development. Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has therefore approved the purchase of new bulldozers to support land clearing for farmers across the state,” he said.
For his part, President of Kwara State Agribusiness Farmers Cooperative Associative Limited Hon. Baba Sanni commended the state government for its interventions in agricultural sector and sought further support for Agribusiness Farmers as the state begins to unfold more agricultural programmes.
“The training is one of the steps that we must take if we must do all things to make us succeed. Let me disclose that about 210 farmers are involved in this programme which will produce 420 hectares of dry season rice involving about N115m,” he said.
“We thank the state for the last tractorization programme of this year wet season. Our association was part of the project, and we thank God that from records available to the Technical Assistant, our association performed very well. If any other opportunity comes, we want the Technical Assistant to involve our Association inside-out.”
Sanni said the association has acquired over 3000 hectares of land at Oro-Ago in Ifelodun LGA of Kwara South, and 1000 hectares each in Kaiama and Owode Oja in Kwara north and central respectively, and appealed to the government to assist in clearing the lands as serious farming cannot be done without clear land.