The Ondo State government has called on farmers across the local government areas of the state to repay the agricultural loan obtained by them to give room for other farmers to benefit from the loan scheme.
The state commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Olayato Aribo, who made this call in Akure during the 2022 World Food Day Ceremony tagged: “Be a food hero and leave no one behind” noted that if all outstanding debts were not paid, other farmers would not benefit in the next agricultural loans in the state.
Aribo who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Edward Ogunmola, said, “I wish to give them up till December to pay up all outstanding loans in order not to incur the wrath of the law.
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“The ministry’s door is open to farmers to access Technical and Advisory Services and farm inputs to boost their agricultural production.
Aribo said: “Let me assure you that this government will continue to remain focused, responsive and accountable to the good people of our Sunshine state.
“We shall continue to create enabling environment that will ensure that every individual will contribute his/her quota to the rapid development of the state’s agricultural sector.
“Therefore, the current food situation in the state and the country at large calls for more dedication and commitment to agricultural development so that our dream of self-sufficiency in food production could be realised,”
The SWOFON coordinator in the state, Grace Oyediji charged the Ondo state government to take agriculture as a serious business as it could contribute to the revenue growth of the state.
She said, “In the second quarter of this year, statistics shows that agriculture contributed 23.2 percent, which is the highest to the economy of the country.
“This shows that with deliberate funding and strategic implementation with monitoring and evaluation of the agriculture, farmers will be smiling to bank, trajectory increase of the state’s IGR and food on the table of the people of Ondo state.
“We understanding that revenue for the State is dwindling, but government needs to take agriculture as business and trust that it can contribute to a large to the revenue of the State.
“We believe this is achievable through the effort of state and non-state actors with the backing of our dear governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“We believe this achievable through the effort of state and non-state actors with the backing of our dear governor, His Excellency, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“The State should also concentrate efforts on dealing with post harvest loses, we will be better positioned to raise our Internally Generated Revenue and contribute significantly to the growth of the economy.
“This can be achieved by encouraging smaller modular processing and storage facilities in communities based on different commodities.
“This should be a good approach to reducing our post-harvest losses, as the larger Staple Crops Agro Processing Zones (SCPZ) are most likely not to reach remote areas.
“For Smallholder women farmers who contribute up to 60 percent of production in the State, our needs as to be captured in the plans of government”