The Edo State Government has announced that two thousand farmers will benefit from its agriculture reforms with over 10,600ha of land under cultivation in different parts of the state.
The farmers are distributed in the different farms in the three senatorial districts of the state.
The State Government had embarked on a multi-faceted agricultural development scheme backed by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Elephant Group, and a number of other off-takers.
The priority crops being cultivated in different locations across the state include cassava, maize, and rice. The areas to benefit from the programme are Ilushi, Iguoriakhi, Sobe, Warake, Iguomon, Agenebode, Usugbenu, Ekpoma, among others.
Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, In a statement said that the state has more than 10,600 hectares of land under cultivation in different parts of the state and land-clearing had been done to ensure the cost of land clearing is not borne by the farmers.
While noting that mechanised farming is being deployed to ensure that the planting process is not so tedious, the governor’s aide revealed that rice farming is currently ongoing in Iguoriakhi, Iguomon, Illushi, Agenebode and Warake while farmers are hard at work in maize farms in Ekpoma, Usugbenu and Sobe.
“We have an off-taker agreement and intend to harvest 17,000 metric tons of rice by cultivating 4,000 hectares of land and 11,000 tons of maize by cultivating 6,600 hectares of land at the end of the planting season in 2019. Off-takers are on ground to buy off the produce, so farmers are assured of buyers for their produce,” he said.
He, therefore, stressed the need for the farmers to maintain standards set by agricultural extension officers engaged to provide extension services on their farms.
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In order to derisk the investment and provide agronomists who will help farmers in the state, he added that the state government engaged the services of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) as its technical partner.