Biodun Oyebanji, governor of Ekiti State, has distributed cheques worth N637m to cooperative societies and communities’ farmer groups in the state to boost agricultural production for food sufficiency.
Oyebanji assured the farmers that the World Bank-assisted rural roads construction programme would soon start in Ekiti with the rehabilitation of 74 kilometres of access roads to enable farmers transport their farm products from the farms to the markets for sale.
The governor, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Thursday during the launch of 2023 farming season organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, charged the chairmen of local governments and LCDAs to support the state government in empowering the farmers in their areas to make farming more attractive and competitive.
He said, “The state government, through the ministry, has given financial assistance to poultry farmers, employed 42 produce inspectors to checkmate the nefarious activities of produce smugglers and as well subsidised input to cashew, cassava and other cash crops farmers in the state.”
He told the farmers that “1,000 kilometres of rural roads would be constructed across the state to boost food production with a view to improving the state economy.”
The governor also assured them that kidnapping, farmer-herder clashes and other unrest militating against farmers’ productivity would become things of the past in the state, as he advised the farmers to patronise the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security for tractors for large-scale cultivation at subsidised rates.
Adebola Alagbada, chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria who lauded the governor for various support to farmers, said the challenges confronting them still included “poor rural road network, inadequacy of extension officers and lack of mobility as he appealed for government’s intervention to solve some of the problems.