By Suleiman Shehu
Ibadan – No fewer than 660 rice farmers in Oyo State on Thursday benefited from cash and farm inputs worth N121.07 million under the FADAMA III Additional Financing project.
Mr Oyewole Oyewumi , Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development disclosed this in Ibadan during the flag-off of fund disbursement and inputs distribution to rice production groups.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was organised by the Oyo State FADAMA III Additional Financing Project.
Oyewumi , represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mr Adewale Atilola, said the farmers, drawn from 15 local government areas in the state, would be supported with improved rice seeds, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers and production assets such as sprayers, wheel barrows.
“The farmers are being supported under the FADAMA III Additional Financing inputs support of 50 /50 cost of sharing arrangement between the benefitting production groups and the project.
“The project supporting matching fund is a grant and not loan that will be paid back.
“ I urged the beneficiaries to reciprocate the good gesture of the state government by making judicious use of the inputs provided to boost agricultural production in the state,’’ the commissioner said.
He appealed to the farmers to use the opportunity to improve on their livelihood through active engagement in agriculture both in dry and rainy seasons.
Oyewumi said that Gov. Abiola Ajimobi placed priority on agriculture
Earlier, Mr Nathanal Olayinka, Oyo State Project Coordinator of FADAMA III, said the aim of the programme was to encourage farmers and to let them see agriculture as a profitable business.
Olayinka advised the farmers to make judicious use of the items, adding that they would be monitored to ensure compliance with the rules of the project.
He commended the state government for providing its own counterpart fund.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Amos Okunlola, commended the government and promised the judicious use of the cash and inputs. (NAN)