Ogun State Government has promised to ensure that farmers make profit, as well as propagate mechanised farming through its Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Consultant to the State Governor, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, said this at a training programme organised for agric extension officers across Local Government areas in the state, noting that the scheme would assist rural smallholder farmers to grow from subsistence to commercial production levels.
Oredipe, who revealed that there is a ready market for the produce, as off-takers have identified with the state programme, assured that farmers would be trained at the council areas, noting that the economic value of the programme would also boost the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“We have gone through the economies of production and established the fact that farmers would make profit from those ventures. What we are doing today is to train the frontline workers, who would have undertake the verification exercise for the participants that have shown interest at their Local Government areas,” Oredipe said.
On his part, Chairman, Anchor Borrowers Steering Committee, Prof. Bola Okuneye said the state is poised to increase food production and create employment opportunities, especially the youth and the women folk, through the programme.
He also revealed that the training became imperative to prepare and equip the agriculture extension officers with the necessary information and guidelines on the scheme, which would enable them perform their duties effectively as would be assigned, noting that the applicants would later be screened and trained by the officers in their respective local governments.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye, said the programme is a developmental function of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support the state farmers, especially the smallholder farmers engaged in the production of identified commodities, linking them with anchor companies, who plays the role of off-takers.
She also expressed satisfaction with the success recorded so far, particularly with the level of commitment of the youths, as well as the new and existing farmers, noting that the programme would create new generation of farmers and entrepreneurs, while also creating employment.