Edo secures N5b CBN loans for farmers to engender food security
The Edo Government has secured N5 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for farmers through its agripreneur programme as part of efforts by the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration to ensure food security in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Prince Joe Okojie, disclosed this to newsmen yesterday after a tour of fish farms at Uteh Koko community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Council and the returnees’ integrated farm facility at the state’s Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) in Oredo council area.
The governor’s aide disclosed that the credit was secured at a single-digit interest rate of nine per cent.
Okojie noted that the agripreneur initiative had the potential of driving the economic development of the state and lifting thousands of smallholder farmers from subsistent to commercial farming, adding that the programme was established in collaboration with the apex bank to ensure food security and wealth creation in Edo.
“The CBN has set aside N40 billion for farmers at a single-digit interest rate of nine per cent and the Edo State government has been able to secure N5 billion for our farmers,” he clarified.
Addressing poultry farmers at the ADP, the special adviser said 1,700 of their colleagues across the three senatorial districts of the state would benefit from the programme, explaining that each of them would get 1,000 birds as well as feeds and medications for the birds.
“We have about 1,700 farmers across the three senatorial districts and each farmer will get 1,000 birds, bringing the total to 1.7 million birds. The governor wants to make sure he brings prosperity to all Edo people, which inspired this scheme.”
In his remarks, chairman of Uteh fish farm cluster, Uzezi Odhe, who commended the governor for his agricultural programmes, lauded the state government for judiciously expending the loans to boost productivity.
“We are happy to have a special adviser visit our farm. We have five clusters with Uteh being the biggest. We are happy to be part of the programme,” he said.
A former governorship candidate and poultry farmer, Justina Agbarha, commended the governor for the project, noting that it would increase fish production statewide.
Another farmer, Victoria Odia, said the state was in time past known for agriculture, regretting that it derailed along the line with the discovery of oil.
She, however, applauded Obaseki for diversifying the state’s economy.
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