Edo State Government said it has set aside 1,000 hectares (ha) for cassava cultivation, as part of its agriprenuer programme targeted at galvanising women farmers towards realising its food security target.
In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Godwin Okonofua, the state said the land is dedicated for cassava production under the women empowerment initiative. He noted that the state sourced funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria under the auspices of the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme towards implementing the project.
“The government has undertaken to clear 1,000 hectares at Oria, Esan South East Local Government Area for its women empowerment initiative,” he said. He added that the state government is pursuing a holistic agriculture programme that prioritises key crops, notably rice, maize, cassava and oil palm, with heavy public and private sectors’ involvement.
While the state government is working with the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) for the projects on rice and maize, using mechanised farming, private companies are expanding their investments in oil palm plantations, with new entrants bolstering the sector.
In a recent chat with journalists, Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Food Security and Forestry, Prince Joe Okojie, said the state accessed N5b from the CBN for its agricultural programme. Of the money, he said N2.2b would be used for crop production, N2.3b for land development and N100m for irrigation. He explained that N1.2b would be used to cultivate rice in Iguoriakhi, Iguomon, Illushi, Warrake and Agenebode, while maize would be cultivated at Usugbenu, Sobe and Ekpoma.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN