Obaseki’s agric reform: Edo govt-backed rice farm records bumper harvest in Warake

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Farmers in Warake rice farms, Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State have recorded bumper harvest in farms cultivated in partnership with the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led state government.

The state government provided inputs and technical support for the farming season to boost food sufficiency in the state.

A number of crops, including maize, cassava and rice are under cultivation on over 10,600 hectares of land across the state by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government’s Agriprenuer programme.

The project is benefitting not less than 2000 farmers in different farm settlements in Ilushi, Iguoriakhi, Sobe, Warake, Iguomon, Agenebode, Usugbenu, Ekpoma, among others.

The government’s multifaceted agricultural development scheme is backed by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Elephant Group, and a number of other off-takers.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie said at the commencement of the 2019 planting season, the farmers got support from the Governor Obaseki-led government under its Agriprenuer programme, including land clearing and distribution of seedlings, fertilizers and other farm inputs in the three senatorial districts.

He said the programme is designed to drive agricultural development through mechanized farming in the state, noting that the state government engaged in land-clearing to ensure the cost of is not borne by the farmers, while the mechanised farming was deployed to ensure the planting process is not so tedious.

He noted that the state government intends to harvest 17,000 metric tons of rice by cultivating 4,000 hectares of land at the end of the 2019 planting season, stressing that off-takers are on ground to buy off the produce, so farmers are assured of buyers for their produce.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Joe Okojie, said that the scheme is targeted at ensuring that farmers are provided with needed credit and extension services for optimal delivery.

According to him, “We are delighted at the bumper harvest in Warake, which follows the impressive performance of the farm at Agenebode. This is a testament to the fact that we are doing the right thing as regards rice farming in Edo State. We are looking at expanding the scope of what we have to accommodate more farmers in the state.”