Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Kogi State Government has commenced the distribution of farming materials/implements to Kogi State Farmers under the APPEALS (Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support)project in a bid to boost its rice, cashew and cassava production.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman Steering Committee of APPEALS, Edward Onoja has visited the Agricultural Development Project (ADP) plant in Felele, Lokoja and Ogbogbo, Igalamela LGA to kick start the distributions to farmers.
Onoja noted that the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello was keen on safeguarding the lives of citizens and has a stern determination to restore Kogi State’s economy to the enviable heights.
He stated that the APPEALS project was dear to the Governor’s heart, as its policies aligned with his Agricultural Revolution Agenda already made clear since its inauguration in early 2016.
He further explained that the project, with a keen focus on rice, cassava and cashew farming was aimed at promoting food sufficiency, while also putting Nigeria on the map as a net exporter.
He asserted that with a population of over 70per cent farmers, Kogi State remained committed to catering for the food need of the country noting that the State planned to promote Agriculture as a veritable means of business for every citizen, until it becomes the “Food Basket” of the Nation.
The Deputy Governor urged the farmers to make good use of what was provided, and expand their businesses through the initiative.
The State Coordinator for APPEALS, Dr. Sani Ozomata described the event as timely, as the State was determined to return its farmers to the farms to quell the scourge of food scarcity and ultimately, revive the economy which has been on a standstill since the beginning of the pandemic.
He further stated that enhancing small and medium scale farmers, and making sure that farming input gets to the farmers at the right time remained an ever-present commitment of the project.
Dr. Ozomata said that over 698 Rice farmers would benefit from the materials shared noting that the program has partnered with the Kogi State Rice Mill, and provided over 1720 Hectares of land for Rice farming.
He revealed that a total of N633million has been approved to fund the VCIP (Value chain investment plan) produced by the farmers throughout the State.
Some of the items distributed included Rice Seedlings, Pressure sprayers, Fertilizers, Herbicides and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at Ajaokuta LGA and Ogbogbo, Igalamela Odolu LGA.