The government of Edo State has flagged off the Nigeria Coronavirus (COVID-19) Action Recover and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) programme to support over 12,494 smallholder farmers across the state with farm inputs.
Governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, who led the flag-off in Umuegbe community, Oredo Local Government Area, said that the state agricultural sector had already supported over 3,000 smallholder and large-scale farmers.
Obaseki who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, added that the state had developed 300 hectares of land in the Iguomon community, Ovia North East Local Government Area to facilitate the production of swamp rice.
The programme, he said, had already been established in Warrake community, Owan East Local Government Area on 500 hectares of farmland, and Usugbenu, Ugboha and Sobe communities in Esan Central, Esan South-East and Owan West respectively, where 1,500 farmers had been empowered on the production of maize.
“For the independent farmers initiative, 1400 Smallholder farmers were provided with agricultural inputs to drive cassava, maize, rice, soybean, poultry and fisheries value chain.
“Under the Oil Palm initiative, 63,000 hectares of brownfields have been made available for nine investors for the development of oil palm plantation aimed at making the state a leader in oil palm production,” Obaseki explained.
He further stated that the intervention would also provide boreholes, canals and rehabilitation of existing farm roads, amongst others.
“The programme is going to make available agricultural assets for the production and mitigating loss and waste which will benefit 4,874 smallholder farmers.
“It will empower them will micro-small agro-processing including cassava and rice mills, maize sheller, grain silos, blast freezers and other storage facilities.
“To strengthen our drive for food security, we will be distributing inputs to 6,227 Smallholder farmers across the value chains of cassava, poultry and fisheries,” the governor added.
The farm inputs distributed included 1,200 cassava stems, 180 poultry feeds, 107.05 fish feeds, 122.694 fertilisers and herbicide 234 litres.
Others were 3,000 day-old chicks, 3000 fingerlings/juveniles, 39 farm kits and 60 poultry vaccines among others.
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