Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Friday said the state government had facilitated access to Central Bank of Nigeria credit facility for over 10,000 farmers, with N700 million already drawn.
Abiodun said this at the 2020 World Food Day celebration, held at the Arcade ground, state secretariat, Abeokuta.
He said the farmers were drawn across all 20 local government areas of the state.
The governor said both the youth and women benefited from the credit facility, aimed at improving food production in the state.
Abiodun said: “The theme of this year’s World Food Day celebration: ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together,’ is very appropriate to our peculiar circumstances.
“As countries around the world now ‘live a new normal’ foisted on us all by the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a time to look, plan and build the future together.
“This year’s celebration has been put in place to sensitise the world at large toward increasing food production with a view to achieving food security and reducing to the barest minimum, the incidence of hunger and malnutrition worldwide.
“Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of our own response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the poor and vulnerable communities.”
Abiodun urged countries all over the world to make human nutrition a major plank of their recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis, and make food systems more resilient and robust.
He said as countries began to develop and implement COVID-19 recovery plans, it remained an opportunity for everybody to adopt innovative solutions to build back better and improved food systems.
The governor said agriculture occupied a unique place in the state, as it had always been the mainstay of its economy.
He said the state government had put in place programmes to enhance the fortunes of farmers and encouraged the people to return to the land.
Abiodun said government would continue to provide a conducive atmosphere and an enabling environment that would attract both local and foreign investors into agricultural production and processing.
In his address of welcome, Dr. Samson Odedina, the Commissioner for Agriculture, said the state government had already cleared and prepared land for 1,065 young cassava farmers.
He said this was out of 2,500 hectares already cleared by the government for young people.
Odedina said the government would continue to liaise and partner with stakeholders in pursuing agricultural agenda.
This, he said, was in terms of job creation through agricultural value chain opportunities and agricultural industrialisation.
The commissioner also cited linkage of young people /farmers to the industrial process and focus on food and nutrition through promotion of cultivation, consumption and business in nutritious and biofortified foods.
These, he said, were being achieved through strategic partnerships.