Ogun State Government said it is targeting to empower at least 40,000 farmers under the State Anchor Borrowers Program in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who disclosed this during the flag-off of the programme, at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, said the move is in fulfillment of its promise to increase food production and create employment opportunities for the people of the state, especially the youth and women.
“Providence has blessed us with favorable climate and fertile soil for agriculture, we sit on a landmass that is over 16,000 Sqm, 80 per cent of which is arable, that is we have over 12,800 Sqm of arable land,” he said.
Abiodun noted that it was disheartening that the state had never accessed the ABP.
“While we have seen the success of the ABP in other states, it is disheartening that Ogun State has never accessed the CBN programme through the public window.”
Abiodun however, issued Certificate of Acceptance and Leasehold to some of the 2,000 beneficiaries selected, urging them to reciprocate the good gesture of the government by utilising the opportunity, noting that there is a nexus between unemployment and criminality, which could be solved through agriculture.
In her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye said agriculture remains a key sector that could help absorb the increasing number of graduates in the labour market, saying there have been a huge disconnect between agriculture and graduates, hence the need to create viable economic opportunities to engage the youths.
She, however, encouraged new and existing farmers to join the government in building the future of the younger generation together, noting that the programme promises to improve the state’s economy and change the livelihood of the farmers.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Savage Falomo, appreciated the state government for the gesture, saying employment generation would surely increase food production and ultimately reduce the high level of crime witnessed in the country.
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