Ondo farmers get over 2.2million cocoa seedlings
As the planting season begins in Ondo State, an agro-allied firm, Outspan Nigeria Limited, has donated a total of 2.2 million cocoa seedlings to farmers in the state.
The firm said the gesture was part of its efforts to improve agricultural sector of the state, adding that it had formed a partnership with the state government to assist the farmers in getting quality and quantity cocoa harvest.
The firm made the donation at the flag off of 2023 cropping season held at Imafon Community in Akure South Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking on the gesture, Head of Sustainability, Olam Food and Ingredients, Outspan Nigeria Limited, Miss Agatha Ewolor, said the gesture was part of the Cooperate Responsibility and Sustainability commitment of the organisation to always support farmers and the business environment.
She said, “We will continue to do this as long as we can. Last year, we were able to donate 2.2 million cocoa seedlings and we’ve been able to do the same thing this year, it is something we will always do.
“It is important that we partner with Ondo State Government because, if we don’t partner with them, our farmers will not really feel our impact. The collaboration with the state government will show that we are there for our farmers”.
The state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, who declared the programme open, stated that the event was put in place to intimate farmers with detailed information on the commencement of year 2023 farming activities and to acquaint them with key government interventions in the agricultural sector.
Represented by his deputy, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, Akeredolu revealed that the government was doing all within its powers to alleviate the challenges confronting farmers by creating a conducive and enabling environment to operate their farm businesses in the state.
“To a very large extent, farmers can now go about their activities in their respective farms with reduced fear of molestation or attack. This has been made possible through the establishment of the Amotekun Corps that is putting in their best to protect lives and property of our dear residents.
“Our intervention cuts across all areas in order to enhance productivity and ensure that farmers have good returnsfor their sweat. Very soon, you will begin to witness the rehabilitation of rural roads to improve access to farming communities by some of these intervention agencies. This is to facilitate the transportation of farm produce to areas where they can easily be sold in order to guide against post-harvest losses”
Akeredolu also warned all encroachers and land grabbers against carrying out illegal activities on government land and forest reserves, saying “we shall not fold our arms and watch people plunder our forest resources and convert our commonwealth to personal use and gains”.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Olayato Aribo, explained that the occasion was an annual event where the farmers were being educated and exposed to the various opportunities available to them on improved varieties of crops, livestock, planting materials and good agricultural practices.
He added that the present administration in the state would leave no stone unturned to ensure that farmers in the state as well as their investments in the farm were well-protected.