By Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin
At least 6,000 crop and livestock farmers in Kwara State have benefited from the first round of government and World Bank-enabled support along agricultural value chains, with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq saying it was part of the measures to strengthen food security and protect vulnerable households from post-COVID-19 challenges.
Flagging off the Kwara FADAMA NG-CARES Result Area 2 inputs and assets to some of the beneficiaries in Ilorin East on Tuesday, AbdulRazaq said the administration has keyed into many initiatives which empower as many vulnerable families as possible to get over the hardship imposed by the COVID-19.
“One of such is the FADAMA NG-CARES (Results Area 2) which has been planned to boost food security and deliver prosperity along agricultural value chains to thousands of poor households across Kwara State,” he added.
“This programme involves provision of agricultural inputs and services and agricultural assets for production and primary processing. At least 6,000 people will benefit from this. While 3,000 livestock and fishery farmers will benefit from input and assets, additional 3,000 crop farmers will also receive inputs and assets of different kinds. All of these are designed to support our farmers and lessen the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on them. This will also have reverberating effects on the local economy.
“Beneficiaries of this gesture cut across youth and women in the 16 LGAs of the State. This intervention will continue for the next 18 months to ensure that as many farmers as possible benefit from it in different ways.”
The Governor said the administration is transforming the agricultural sector, listing some of its achievements to include the recent launch of a 10-year Agricultural Transformation Plan, purchase of 15 new tractors and two bulldozers, and previous distributions of inputs and implements to thousands of farmers across the state.
State Commissioner for Finance, Florence Olasumbo Oyeyemi, said the government had enlisted Kwara in the NG-Cares programme to enable poor farmers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, charging the beneficiaries to put what they are given to good use to promote food security and the local economy.
“The State government has graciously considered it necessary for Kwara State to be part of NG-Cares programme, being supported by the World bank to bring succour to poor farmers who had suffered loss even by selling their assets and farm implements in order to survive as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, “she said.
State Project Coordinator for FADAMA, Engr. Busari Toyin Isiaka, said Kwara has achieved under Governor AbdulRazaq for FADAMA what no other state in the whole Country has achieved under the initiative, thanking the present administration for its unprecedented support for the agency.
“It has never been like this in the history of FADAMA. If we look at where we were, where we are and where we are going, the whole appreciation goes to His Excellency and his administration,” he said.
“His Excellency gave us what we term as project preparatory fund to start. That has given us the enough enablement to start this project. No state in the whole country has achieved what we have achieved today.”
Baale Oke Oyi Muh’d Soliu Abdulkadir Odedeyi, who commended the government for the programme, also applauded the government for the construction of Oke Oyi township road.
He pledged the support of his people for not just the administration but re-election of Governor AbdulRazaq in 2023.