The Ogun State Government has already started harvesting dry season rice production in its joint Ogun State and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Project.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina when he visited the over 120,000-hectare rice farm in Sowunmi Village along the Ofada/Mokoloki axis of the State.
The Commissioner, who stated that the State Government has provided all necessary support to the youth farmers by clearing the land, and giving seeds, funding and input, said that the farmers are allowed to offtake rice processors, as the State has four mills.
Dr Odedina stated that the four mills in the State were in need of paddy, so the issue of paddy shortage could now be solved since the farms will supply them conveniently.
“Rice is big business,” the Commissioner said, as he disclosed that because of this, Government has been actively involved at all phases including land preparation, water supply, milling, drying, packaging and marketing.
He said that the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun understood the complexity of the trade which could place the State as Nigeria’s centre of food supply, and therefore had keen interest in empowering the youth to be productive in the sector.
The project is currently ongoing across eight (8) local government areas of the State, including Obafemi-Owode, Yewa North & South, Ijebu North & East, Ifo, Odeda and Odogbolu.
However, the State Ministry of Agriculture is still working on the project in Odogbolu, Odeda and Yewa South LGAs, as they will get versatile youth to come on board.