Ondo, FADAMA Empower Farmers To Tackle Youth Unemployment
THE Ondo State Government and the third National Fadama Development Project (NFDPIII) have syndicated efforts in agriculture to beef up food security, especially with cassava farming, and provide more employment opportunities.
This was made known on Friday during the official flag-off ceremony of Fadama III Additional Financing (AF) and presentation of N120 million cheques to 2,400 farmers by Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
Mimiko, represented by his Deputy, Lasisi Oluboyo, said his administration would not relent in its efforts at making agriculture a major policy thrust in raising the state’s economic prosperity and sustainable development.
He revealed, “government has spent over five billion to implement various agric-related programmes in the last six years. We have also paid N380 million as counterpart contributions to the Fadama Project from inception.”
Oluboyo, the immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture, lamented the problems of unemployment mostly among the youths, which he said has resulted into some social vices like youth restiveness, prostitution, armed robbery, drug addiction and advanced fee-fraud.
He stated that the state has cultivated a total of 1, 384 hectares of farmland for the production of maize, cassava and cowpea, listing other initiatives under the aegis of Ondo State Cooperative Federation (ODSCOFED), Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) and Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA).
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Agriculture, Engr. Alex Aragbaiye, said Fadama III Project has implemented 784 sub projects across 160 Fadama Communities and “a total of 675 out of these sub-projects are income generating enterprises, while the rest 109 are rural infrastructures that promote agricultural production, processing and marketing.”
Aragbaiye disclosed that these were made possible through the funding arrangements of International Development Association (IDA): N676, 482, 545.20, state government: N292, 066, 00, local government: N 72, 000, 000 and beneficiaries’ contribution of N250, 432, 698.20.
State Director of Fadama, Mrs. Florence Omagbemi, lamented the drift from agriculture, in her words, “which has been with man from the dawn of humanity and remains man’s first industry,” to crude oil.
She listed the project’s success to include the development of National Farmer Database with a total of 14.5 million farmers, registered with 3, 000 being female farmers, Growth Enhancement Support (GES), financing, Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ), Cocoa Value Chain and Cassava Value Chain among others.