Ogun to focus more on ICT Mechanism to Drive Agricultural Development
The Government of Ogun State has revealed plans of focusing more on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Mechanisation to drive its various Agricultural programmes in the year 2021.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina made this known while answering questions from newsmen on plans of the Ministry for the year 2021 in his office in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
Odedina explained, “There are two things you must put into consideration if you want people especially the youths to embrace Agriculture and these are ICT and Mechanisation. This, we have taken care of by ensuring that ICT was included in all our youths-based Agricultural programmes. You can use ICT to monitor your farm, as well as, mechanise every aspect of your production while the farmer only monitors.
“Another thing you cannot take away from modern-day Agriculture is technology and competitiveness, this underscores our linkage with all these variables which helps in increasing productivity thus, giving the farmers edge in terms of a ready market for their produce among others”, Odedina said.
He urged the youths to renew their interest for Agriculture, that it is the interest, passion and commitment that would guarantee their success in agriculture.
He also made known that modern-day agriculture is market-driven so, there are off-takers and ready market for agricultural produce in the state.
“About 80% of farmers in Ogun State grow maize and cassava and the four biggest buyers of cassava are based in Ogun State, so you won’t be wrong if you grow them. This is not to say that there is no market for other crops, we have ensured that our farmers don’t jump into production without an assured market, that is why we link them with lots of investment advice”, he added.
The commissioner noted that even though the challenges of the outgone year which included the restrictions occasioned by Covid-19, the State Government empowered close to 15,000 people, that with that, it has deliberately set a high standard and the government was ready to break the record.
Odedina also revealed that due to the success the Ministry recorded in its Anchor Borrowers Programme, Ogun Broiler Project among others in the year 2020, it will be expanding to other areas of the agricultural value chain across the state.
“We are going to be moving to other areas, we are going to expand our Anchor Borrowers Programme, Ogun Broiler Project and others. You will record that because of the success of the Ogun Broiler Project, the governor has graciously approved its replication in all the 20 Local Government Areas of the state”, the Commissioner said.
He said owing to this success, the state is now the focus of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme in cocoa, oil palm, cotton, aquaculture and cattle.