The Ogun State government has launched a digital support platform for farmers and agriculturists operating in the state.
Known as Ogun State Farmers Information Management System (OGFIMS), the digital support platform is aimed at unleashing the full potential of the state’s agricultural sector in order to ensure food security and link farmers to available opportunities for more productivity.
The platform launched in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), offers information to farmers on weather, farming season, extension services, government intervention, among others.
Speaking at the launch of the platform in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the weekend, Adeola Odedina, the commissioner for agriculture, said the initiative was in tune with the agricultural agenda of the state to support smallholder farmers, ensure food and nutrition security, create jobs and wealth as well as link manufacturers to the agricultural process.
Odedina said through strategic partnership with private sector and intentional collaboration with all agencies that have mandate and resources to support agriculture, the state government is deliberately inclusive to ensure smallholder farmers are not cut off from the opportunities created to drive sustainable supply to industries.
“We want to make Ogun State the centre for agricultural excellence, so our small holder farmers can benefit from opportunities in programmes that will strengthen the value chain and this can only be done if data is available. That is what OGFIMS is aiming at”, Odedina said.
Earlier, Lava Kumar, the lead project Consultant, OGFIMS and lead GermPlasm Health Unit, IITA, explained that the digital platform is a one-stop resource for information, communication, coordination and registration of farmers and value chain actors, mapping, advisory, e-marketing and other applications to improve the agriculture and agribusiness in the state.
Also, Abel Lufafa, the OGSTEP Task Team lead from World Bank, emphasised the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure the success of OGFIMS as he noted that accessing farmers for future development would demand a lot of information, networking and shared value for development.
Olaolu Olabimtan, commissioner for budget and planning, commended the initiative, adding that government was interested in new ideas that would enhance the agricultural potential of Ogun for which budget and economic planning of the state must be tilted towards.
Olabimtan said that OGFIMS would add value to the State’s agricultural road map as it would enhance linking of stakeholders to available opportunities and updated information meant to ensure the agricultural best practices in the state and beyond.
Angel Adelaja-Kuye, the senior special adviser to the governor on agriculture, noted that the digital platform which would serve as database and repository of information and knowledge, would keep farmers informed of new agricultural policies, events, training and business opportunities, among others.