Maize, soya beans farmers to benefit from N3.5bn fund in Ekiti

* Benefactor pledges support for local processing of farm produce

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Maize and Soya Beans farmers in Ekiti State are to benefit from a N3.5 billion support fund in the current planting season.

Agency report indicates Mr. Reye Haveman, Managing Director, Terra Agricultural Support Company, a Netherland-based firm, disclosed in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, Tuesday, March 24, at a meeting with representatives of the Ekiti State Government.

It was learnt that Mr. Folorunso Olabode, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Mr Olukayode Ilesanmi, Technical Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Agriculture, led the state government representatives to the gathering.

Mr. Haveman stated that he decided to invest the huge sum of money in the state because of the availability of adequate storage facilities, land as well as willing farmers.

According to him, the farmers will be supported in mechanisation, training, input supplies, harvesting and off-taking of products among others.

The Managing Director of Terra Agricultural Support Company said he was relying on the list of farmers and data provided by the state government in the execution of the project.

According to him, there is a need for all stakeholders to display transparency and honesty in order to protect the image of the government and company built over the years.

Haveman said he would soon sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of his company with the state government.

Under the proposal, he added, all farm locations under the organisation’s support would be monitored through satellite every 72 hours so as to stay in touch with the farmers and have the knowledge of the prevailing situations.

Haveman, who disclosed that his organisation was working on how to divest into supporting cocoa farmers in Ekiti, Ondo and Edo States, assured of hybrid and improved seeds supply to the farmers in next year’s planting season.

The Managing Director also revealed that his Terra Group is working towards creating a value chain by encouraging local processing of farm products.

Olabode also assured the investors that the state is desirable of having his team in this critical era of dwindling oil price.

According to him, some other agriculture-based organisations have also signified interest in investing in the sector, as he urged them to make their support timely, accurate, qualitative and reasonably cheap and affordable to the farmers.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development called for transparency in the grading of products as well as involve government extension officers in the monitoring and training of participating farmers.

Ilesanmi as well stressed the importance of supplying the farmers with high yield seeds, quality herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers.

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