The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that the Ogun State Anchor Borrowers Program will provide inputs, service support and training required for farmers through a single digit loan and a guaranteed off taker, adding that his administration is fully committed to providing an environment that would ensure a better life for the people of the state.
Prince Abiodun who made this known in his office at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, at the inauguration of a steering committee to oversee the Ogun State Anchor Borrowers Program, said that the state government under his leadership is committed to the development of all sectors of the state economy, adding that the state government appreciates the immense potentials of the agricultural sector.
Abiodun noted that the target of his administration was to produce enough food to attain self sufficiency in food security, adding that providence had blessed the state with favorable climate, fertile soil that sits on over 16,000 square meters, of which 80% is arable.
“The target of our administration is to produce enough food to attain self sufficiency in food security in the short term and over the long term, produce enough food for other states and for export.
“Providence have blessed us with favorable climate and fertile soil for agriculture, we sit on a land mass that is over 16,000 Sqm, 80% of which is arable, that is we have over 12,800 Sqm of arable land,” he said.
The helmsman who further noted that government and the people should come together to chart a way forward for the development of agriculture in the state, added that it was disheartening to note that the state had never accessed the Central Bank anchor borrowers program.
“While we have seen the success of the anchor borrowers scheme in other states, it is disheartening that Ogun State has never accessed the CBN anchor borrowers program through the public window,” he said.
He opined that the inauguration of the committee was a practical demonstration of his administration’s commitment towards the development of the agricultural sector in the state, adding that the program would be targeting over 40,000 farmers, of which 10,000 would be attended to in the first instance.
” his program, we are targeting the empowerment of over 40,000 farmers, we are going to be starting in the first instance with an initial 10,000 farmers to which we are going to allocate 10,000 hectares of land to them,” he said.
The terms of reference for the steering committee are, to play a supervising role in the implementation of the Ogun State Anchor Borrowers Scheme, design overarching methodology for the implementation of the anchor program in Ogun, communicate decisions taken on the project to the governor and other stakeholders, coordinate all relevant stakeholders, set up and supervision of project management teams and local government committees, review of submitted cost of production/ economics of production for all value chains, approve identified input supplies and identify, negotiate with and enter into agreement with credible anchors.
Other terms of reference are to supervise coordination and the monitoring of the project, ensure timely distribution of funds and inputs, ensure timely payment by anchor, ensure repayment of all loans, escalate issues that cannot be resolved by the committee and ensure program is developed, delivered and implemented as scheduled and within scope.
The committee has Prof. Adebola Okuneye as chairman, other members are, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye, Dr. Angel Kuye, Hon. Abiodun Niyi, Mrs. Taiwo Ayansanwo, Prince Segun Dasaolu, Mr. Okanlawon Suraj, Mrs. Oyinlola Oyenuga, Mr. David Olawale, Mr. Kayode Abiodun, Mrs. Oluyemi Kuforiji, Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Oyewole, Mr. Ejalonibu Adebayo, Chief. Abdulazeez Abolore, Prof. Lateef Sanni, Alhaji Bakai Okedara, while Mrs. Taiwo Ayansanwo will serve as secretary.
In his response, the chairman of the Ogun State Anchor Borrowers Program Steering Committee, Prof. Adebola Okuneye, appreciated the governor for placing on their hands a major task of repositioning the agricultural sector and steering the states anchor borrowers program, promising that the job as members of the committee would be done diligently.
In their responses, the chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Ogun State Chapter, Mr. Segun Dasaolu, Baale Agbe of Imekoland, Chief. Abdulazeez Ismail, Managing Director, OKB Agro-Services, Alhaji Bakai Okedara and the Chairman, Fish Farmers Association, Ogun State and Ejalonibu Corporative, Mr. Adebayo Adeogun, appreciated the gesture of the state government to begin a revolution in the agricultural sector, noting that they would justify their selection as members of the committee, by being dutiful.