Edo launches 2022 dry season farming, distributes irrigation equipment
Acquires rice mills, destoners, others
Edo State Government has launched the 2022 dry season farming with the distribution of irrigation equipment to over 500 farmers, to enhance year-round food production.
The programme was launched under the Edo (FADAMA) CARES Result Area II of Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Scheme, geared towards alleviating hunger and encouraging agricultural production.
Addressing beneficiaries of the scheme at the Rubber Estate Nigeria Limited, Ovia South-West Local Council, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Stephen Idehenre said the intervention seeks to empower smallholder farmers with small irrigation equipment to aid food production during the dry season.
He said: “Edo State Government through its intervention project, Edo CARES, is strengthening the momentum towards all-year-round farming. We are empowering smallholder farmers with small irrigation equipment. Over 500 farmers will be empowered with the provision of 171 units of small irrigation equipment. 139 units of the equipment will be distributed at Auchi, Etsako West local council and 32 units would go to farmers in Ovia South-West local council.”
Idehenre added that Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration is prioritising agriculture as one of the schematic pillars of the Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) agenda, adding, “Edo State is making steady progress in the agricultural sphere. Agriculture remains a major economic pillar for job and wealth creation and we are taking advantage of these potential to develop the state.
“We have attracted investments valued at $532.2m from nine firms to the oil palm sector alone, via the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP). A total of 62,500 hectares have been allocated to investors and is expected to create over 200,000 jobs across the value chain and add over 100,000 metric tons of crude palm oil (CPO) by 2030.”
The State Project Coordinator, Edo CARES, Dr. Izevbigie Edward expressed appreciation to the government for its holistic approach to ensuring food security in the state.
He said: “Edo State Government has zero-tolerance for hunger and is irrevocably committed to increasing food security for its citizenry through the fight against hunger, poverty and malnutrition.
Similarly, the state has acquired equipment and trained farmers for agro-processing in its quest to boost food production across different locations in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Idehenre, while addressing farmers at the Rubber Estate Nigeria Limited, Ovia South-West local council, noted that the state is keen on supporting farmers to attain food sufficiency.
He noted that arrangements have been concluded to provide necessary equipment for smallholder farmers in the dry season, adding that irrigation equipment have been distributed to ensure that there are no disruptions.
The Commissioner added that the state has concluded plans to boost rice production, with the roll out of a programme to boost agro-processing.
According to him, “The programme has installed and empowered rice processing mills with destoners that have the capacity to process three metric tons per day in Iguoriakhi (Ovia South-West), Agbede (Etsako West), Warake (Owan East), Eme-Ora (Owan West) and Oshomegbe community (Etsako Central).”
Others, according to him, include eight HP processing mills with hydraulic press, rehabilitation of six wet markets and rehabilitation of a 10-tonne capacity cold room, thereby empowering over 2,200 beneficiaries in different locations across the state’s 18 the local government areas.
He noted that through other programmes such as the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), the state is building a strong base to attract other agro-processors into the state.