FG, EKITI TO STRENGTHEN COLLABORATION ON AGRIC DEVELOPMENT
In furtherance to driving Agriculture development, enhance productivity and ensure that farmers have the necessary support to thrive, the Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, CON, has revealed that the Ministry would partner with Ekiti State Government to enhance agricultural development and achieve food security.
The Minister made this known during the courtesy visit by the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Abiodun Abayomi Oyebanji to his office, in Abuja recently.
He stated that the partnership between the State and the Federal Government would be a collective effort towards ensuring food security and development in the Agriculture sector in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President.
Sen. Abubakar expressed delight to identify with the government and good people of Ekiti State, pointing out that “we are aware that the agricultural landscape of Ekiti State has experienced notable achievements since the inception of your administration, especially in the area of land preparation to open up more cultivable land for the farming population of Ekiti State”.
“Ekiti State Youth in Agriculture programme is creating jobs and wealth for the teeming youths, as well as the various interventions in provision of inputs for farmers in the production of crops and other agriculture value chains alike”.
Sen. Abubakar noted that, “It is imperative for us to tackle some of the challenges observed during the ongoing Wheat Dry Season Farming in the 15 participating States, to avoid re-occurrence in the second phase for Rice, Maize and Cassava and to ensure that they do not impede our agricultural development agenda”.
“These challenges include reported cases of round-tripping in connivance with agro-dealers and poor validation of farmers’ data in parts of the participating states”, he added.
The Minister revealed that the Ministry was fully committed to addressing the issues and equally determined to implement stringent measures in the forth coming Dry/ Wet season farming for rice, maize and cassava to ensure transparent distribution of inputs to genuine farmers.
He emphasized that collaboration with states, local governments, traditional rulers, local farmers associations, NGOs and relevant MDAs would be crucial in achieving the desired objectives.
He urged all stakeholders in the agriculture sector to overcome the challenges and ensure a successful intervention despite the time constraints noting that the second phase of the Dry/Wet season farming invention was expected to commence this month and the Ministry is determined to make it a success.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, His Excellency, Abiodun Abayomi Oyebanji commended the Ministry, pointing out that “this is the first time political head will accept challenges in government programmes, for you to have identified round –tripping and poor validation of data, openly, speaks to the fact that, you want things to be done differently”.
The Governor highlighted the areas of collaboration to include; Agro pocket scheme, mechanization, good seedlings amongst others, assuring that Ekiti State will support and collaborate with the Ministry.
In a similar vein, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Dr. Mohammed Nasir Idris during his visit to the Ministers, commended the Ministry for the initiative, noting that Kebbi State is an Agrarian state that grows, Rice, Maize, Guinea corn and Millet.
He pointed out that when he assumed duty as Governor of Kebbi State, his administration attached importance to farming and had purchased fertilizer worth 2.8bn to distribute to farmers for free.
The Governor revealed that last year, his administration purchased 320 trucks of assorted grains for farmers, noting that 6000 solar pumps had already being purchased, and will also purchase additional 12,000 solar pumps for distribution.
He added that his administration will continue to do everything possible to ensure that they create an enabling environment for Kebbi State farmers.
Hallmark of the visit was the presentation of letter of expression of interest to the Governor.
Eremah Anthonia (Mrs.)
Chief Information Officer
For: Director Information