Kwara disburses N1bn to farmers

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Success Nwogu, Ilorin

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, on Monday said his administration had disbursed about N1bn to 500 small holder farmers and 40 commercial farmers in the state.

Speaking at the opening of the second Harmony Agriculture International Fair on Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, he said the small holder farmers were also provided access to 2,550 hectares of land across the state.

The governor said the Off-Takers Demand Driving Agriculture Scheme “is an empowerment programme formulated to drive employment.”

He said ODDA would boost food production and diversify the state’s economy by matching farmers with off-takers.

Ahmed noted that over the years, his administration had embarked on various intervention programmes aimed at entrenching attitudinal change towards agriculture in the state.

He identified the programmes to include the Back to Farm, the Youth Farm Centre and the ODDA Scheme.

Ahmed said,  “ODDA is designed to build an agribusiness ecosystem that will reduce food importation, enhance foreign exchange and more importantly create sustainable livelihoods for our people, especially youths and women.”

He also said by the time the harvest season commences, the state would witness the emergence of a new generation of prosperous youth farmers.

The governor also said 381 kilometres of rural roads would be rehabilitated in 2018 under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project  in partnership with the World Bank and the Federal Government.

 Earlier, the Chairman, Harmony Holdings, Prof. Halidu Abubakar, had  said the financial support of the state government to the company made it possible for the group to give out loans to over 100 cooperatives and about 1,000 farmers.

Tthe Group Managing Director, HHL,  Mr. Tope Daramola, said all the profile farmers to which the money was disbursed already had ready made buyers

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