Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has assured farmers in the state that his administration will continue to invest in developing the agricultural sector to provide more opportunities for farmers to become wealthy and support the state in achieving food security.
He gave the assurance when rice farmers from Iguoriakhi and Iguomo communities in Ovia South West Local Government Area, paid a visit to the Government House, in Benin City.
The governor urged farmers to organise themselves into clusters and cooperatives to enable them to benefit from government’s mechanised farming support programme, noting, “As a government, our focus is to make our farmers rich and become millionaires. I will create opportunities for you to make money for yourselves as I have no free money to share.
“Since you are interested in farming and agriculture, I will make farming possible for you. What we have decided to do is that any community that can organise themselves well, they will get our support in terms of helping them with tractors to clear their land no matter how big and providing farm inputs.”
Obaseki added that the state government will continue to assist farmers with tractors, access to high-yielding crops, fertilizers and other farm inputs that would make mechanisation possible for rice farmers in Edo South Senatorial District.
“We will also agree on the price of the commodities and bring those that will buy from you. We have started the revamp of the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi. By the time we finish work on the school, in one and a half years, farmers will be welcome to learn techniques to improve their farm activities,” he added.
President of the association, Odion Ugiagbe, expressed appreciation to the governor for assisting them with bulldozers and payloaders which are on site preparing the farmlands for the dry season.
She said sixty rice farmers have registered at Iguomo, with each of them having a farm size of five hectares, bringing the total of land operated by the cluster to 300 hectares.
She made the case for a rice processing mill in the area to increase productivity and boost local food processing.