Wednesday, 27th September 2023

Kogi agric value chain initiative to empower 100,000 persons

By John Akubo, Lokoja
16 January 2018   |   4:14 am
The Kogi state Commissioner for agriculture Mr. Kehinde Oloruntoba has disclosed that the State Government will empower over 100,000 persons through engagement...

The Kogi state Commissioner for agriculture Mr. Kehinde Oloruntoba has disclosed that the State Government will empower over 100,000 persons through engagement in Accelerated Agricultural Production in crop value chain in 2018.

Oloruntoba, who gave the indication during his ministerial press briefing in Lokoja said: “Over 100,000 youths are to be fully engaged in various aspects of agriculture. It is against this backdrop that the sectoral allocation to agriculture in this year’s budget was increased N9 billion from N7.9 billion in 2017.”

The briefing was organised by the Bureau of Information Services, and Grassroots Sensitisation in collaboration with the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Lokoja.

Oloruntoba reeled out various programmes of the state government in the agricultural sector saying that they were aimed at attaining the food sufficiency, economic diversification and agribusiness policy direction of the Federal Government.

“We are on our way to empowering 10,000 youths in Accelerated Agricultural Production. What is expected of the state is to clear the land and the governor has assured us that as soon as the 2018 Budget is passed into law, money will be released for that purpose,” he said.

He added that as part of the Federal Government’s Egg Production programme and in view of the National School Feeding Programme in the state, 135 farmers would be supported with N4.2 million each to start poultry farms.

“We want to produce our eggs and chickens here. We are starting the national school feeding soon,” he said.

He said Kogi was already the number one cassava producer in Nigeria and by extension number one in the world (Nigeria: 54 million Metric Tonnes per annum while Kogi produces slightly produces over four million Metric Tonnes).

The Commissioner said in the year 2018 planning season, the state intends to improve on the production of cassava, rice and cashew.

He said that about 4,200 hectares of land comprising 200 hectares in each of the 21 local government areas of the state had been earmarked for the production and enhancement of cassava crop value chain.

He added that Alloma oil palm plantation would be rehabilitated and expanded with over 1,000 hectares of arable land.

Oloruntoba hinted that Kogi would also launch its Confluence Fish in the next six months saying that the fish would be grown and packaged in Kogi State for the Nigerian market.

He said the project would run at pilot level with 2,500 fingerlings per pond and would be located in one Local Government in each of the three senatorial districts of the state.

Oloruntoba said the state had also commenced the process of domesticating the Federal Government’s Agriculture Sector Food Security and Nutrition Strategy (ASFSN) in the bid to fast-track Nutrition-sensitive agricultural practice.

He stated that another 1,000 youths would be empowered to create vegetable farms, which would serve as a hub vegetable market.