The Ogun State Government said it would revive the existing eight farm settlements initiated by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and create more to boost food sufficiency and other agricultural purposes.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, in an interview with newsmen in his office, recently. He said that the Dapo Abiodun-led government had resolved to surpass the agricultural legacy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“The farm settlements when refurbished, will have arable lands, accommodation for farmers, electricity, water supply, modern implements and ready market for farm produce,” he added.
He expressed optimism that farmers who want to leverage on Anchor Borrowers’ Programme could also settle in any of the farmlands.
Meanwhile, the commissioner has admonished farmers to start getting ready for this year’s planting season by clearing their farmlands, procuring of seedlings and fertilisers.
He, however, cautioned them against planting now as the current level of rainfall is not sufficient for farming, except those in the riverine or swamping areas.
Odedina while presiding over an in-house meeting which focused on the roadmap of the Ministry, posited that the advice became imperative in view of the first rainfall, capable of luring farmers into tilling of land for planting.
He submitted that, apart from providing enabling environment for all categories of farmers in the state and linkage with relevant anchors, the Ministry is obligated to periodically enlighten farmers on the exact period to commence planting
Lending his voice to the Commissioner’s counsel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke submitted that the need to educate farmers on the exact period for next planting cannot be over stressed.
Giving a talk earlier on ‘Cascading and Discussing the General Effect of 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction’, as predicted by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMet), Director of Tree Crops in the Ministry, Mr Oyesola James said farmers must be adequately guided so as not to rush into planting as result of the first rainfall, describing it as a “false onset”.
He charged farmers to watch out for severe dry spell that may last for 10 to 21 days in the course of the year over the coast of Lagos, Ibadan, Akure, Iseyin, Ilorin, Ado Ekiti and some parts of Ogun State, describing the period as a “little dry season”.
He maintained that the Ministry is poised at assisting the government achieve self-sufficiency through the different agricultural policies.
Oyesola further disclosed that the Ministry will continue to avail farmers information on climate information services, needed for behavioural changes in farming practices, skills, knowledge, crop advice for rural farmers among others.