The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured of adequate plans by his administration to strengthen collaboration with relevant Federal Government agencies to guarantee food sufficiency in the state, including the 725-hectare maize farm being cultivated with support from the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL).
He gave the assurance during the inspection of land preparation for the cultivation of a 725-hectare maize farm project in Sobe, Owan West Local Government Area.
The governor said the project would be fully mechanised with the support of NIRSAL, adding that he is optimistic about improved yield as a result of the support from the relevant federal government agencies focused on improving productivity.
Obaseki expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the site and the availability of inputs for the farmers, noting that 145 farmers would cultivate maize on 5 hectares each, noting, “This is one of the eight ongoing farms we have in the state and planting will commence next week as soon as land preparation is completed. We have brought in experts to help us manage these farms and have secured funding from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to run the project.”
The governor said the principal funding for the project was obtained from the CBN Commercial Agricultural Transformation Fund (CATF).
He assured the farmers that youths and vigilante groups in host communities will be engaged to work with security agencies while an Army post would be mounted to provide help when needed.
The Managing Director, Scagric Investment Limited, Samil Asha, said the target yield of the maize is 5tons per hectare.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Prince Joe Okojie, said the fields have been provided with agronomists to support the farmers.