From Osaigbovo Frank Okundia
In a strategic move to enhance local food production and bolster the agricultural sector, the Edo State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) collaborated with the State Government, Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-Cares), World Bank, and other stakeholders. Their joint effort resulted in the provision of essential irrigation equipment and assets to benefit 640 smallholder farmers across the state.
Dr. Edward Izevbigie, the Project Coordinator, conveyed strong encouragement to the farmers during the presentation ceremony and launch of the dry season farming initiative. He underscored the unwavering commitment of the Edo State Government to supporting smallholder farmers, emphasizing the perpetual demand for food production to meet continuous consumption needs.
Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Stephen Idehenre, highlighted the state’s visionary strides in agricultural transformation. Specifically, he referenced the successful FADAMA Edo Cares program, which previously empowered 1,832 smallholder farmers, aiming to revolutionize the seasonal agricultural cycle and fortify local production.
Mr. Idehenre assured farmers of the state’s proactive measures in addressing security challenges faced by farmers, particularly those arising from cattle herdsmen. He detailed the deployment of machinery to tag grazing animals, enabling identification and owner tracking. Moreover, the state has undertaken comprehensive training for forest officers and rangers to ensure farmers’ safety.
Under the aegis of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-Cares), the Edo Cares Result Area 2 facilitated the distribution of crucial equipment—de-feathering machines, solar irrigation pumps, generators, among others—to poultry and irrigation farmers, totaling 640. Further phases are planned to extend support to cassava farmers, rice farmers, processors, millers, and others, projected to benefit a total of 2,078 individuals.
Beneficiaries expressed profound gratitude for the equipment received, foreseeing enhanced efficiency and increased yields. Angela Otabo, a poultry farmer, highlighted the potential of the new de-feathering machine to boost processing efficiency and revenue.
Mr. Monday Ebuaghe Imafidon, a vegetable farmer, emphasized the significant role the new solar pump would play in cultivating vegetables during the dry season, thanking Governor Godwin Obaseki for his unwavering support of smallholder farmers.
Edo State remains a pivotal contributor to Nigeria’s agricultural sector, notably leading in oil palm production and contributing significantly to rubber, timber, and oil palm production in the country.
The event saw the participation of esteemed government officials, including Dr. Peter Osagie, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Kelly Iyamu M&E, the State Representative for Edo NG-CARES, alongside farmers representing the three senatorial districts of Edo State.
From Osaigbovo Frank Okundia