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Ogun State Government has described the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES FADAMA RA2) project, put up to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on poor farmers’ means of livelihood, as an initiative that would fastrack the attainment of food production and security in fulfillment of one of its ‘ISEYA’ mantra.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, brought this to the fore while presenting free agro-inputs and assets to farmers in Yewa-North Local Government Secretariat, Aiyetoro, in the pilot phase distribution of the project which had earlier flagged-off in Ado-Odo/Ota and Ijebu-North Local Government Secretariats in Ota and Ijebu-Igbo respectively.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke, Odedina stated that the project was funded by the State and Federal Governments, as well as the World Bank and had captured farmers in six Local Government Areas, namely; Ijebu North and Odogbolu (Ogun East), Odeda and Obafemi Owode, (Ogun Central), as well as Yewa North and Ado-Odo/Ota, (Ogun West).

 The Commissioner explained that the initiative would empower pro-poor and vulnerable farmers, as well as those in agricultural value-chain with emphasis on youths and women who were adversely affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, noting that benefited farmers were given weaners (pigs), sheeps and goats, bags of 50kg fertilisers and herbicides and garri and rice processing equipment, among others.

In her welcome address, the Project Manager, OGUN-CARES FADAMA RA2, Mrs. Solape Awe, said the project was a multi-sectorial programme and the agricultural aspect was being implemented by FADAMA platform, in four Delivery Link Indicators (DLIs), which are, Agricultural Inputs and Services, Labour-Intensive Agricultural Infrastructure, Agricultural Assets for Production and Mitigating food loss and waste, as well as Upgrading of wet markets to function safely to empower 20,922 farmers in all the Local Government Areas of the State within two years. 
In their separate remarks, the Chairmen, Ado-Odo/Ota and Yewa North Local Government Area, Hon. Sheriff Musa and Hon. Gabriel Ogunyomi lauded the effort of government for kick-starting the input distribution in the area to alleviate the plight of farmers, adding that Ota was an advantage position over others, based on its large urban and agrarian population and large arable land for agriculture, as well as the industrial hub of the State which opens ready-market for farm produce.

Contributing, his counterpart in Yewa North Local Government, Hon. Gabriel Ogunyomi said consideration for women and youths in the project was laudable, charging the farmers to make the best use of the inputs and assets to better their lives and improve the economy of the State.

Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr. Titus Lasilo from Ado-Odo/ Ota Farmers Community Association, and Mrs. Monsurat Omoniyi from Agbejere Farmers’ Association, Joga Orile, expressed joy for the initiative, saying it would turn their lots around, and promised to utilise the inputs judiciously.

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