The Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has flagged off the distribution of equipment to farmers under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to promote agribusinesses.
According to the governor, the state is committed to protecting the environment and forest resources for a conducive and attractive agricultural practice.
In his address, at the flag-off ceremony held at the Adetiloye Hall, Trade Fair Complex, Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, the governor, represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, said his administration has made incentives available to boost agriculture in the state.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the benefiting 540 farmers received 90,000 seedlings, 13,500 kilograms of fertilizers, 1,000 litres of agrochemicals, 550 pairs of safety boots, hand gloves, safety helmets, raincoats, knapsack sprayers, among others.
Fayemi noted that his administration explored the NEWMAP option in its quest to develop agriculture revealing that Ekiti is among 23 States of the federation participating in the World Bank assisted project.
“This empowerment programme for farmers in Ekiti State is one of the fulfillment of our promised to strengthen agriculture in our dear state and make it a business that can boost our economy.
“As a responsible government, we are leaving no stone unturned in our continued quest to move agriculture, which is the mainstay of our economy, from mere production of staple foods for farmers to thriving and sustainable agribusiness.
“In our quest to achieve improved economic status, we have also invested and done much not only to support our farmers but also to put needed infrastructure that can enhance production and marketing of agriculture outputs in place.”
The governor identified NEWMAP as an intervention project by the Federal Government for the management of erosion and watershed challenges across the country.
He added that the programme was generally aimed at rehabilitating degraded lands, reducing erosion and flood disaster and creating a new environment that is hazard-free for the benefit of the people, among others.