By: Bamidele Fashube
As part of its efforts to boost rice production, the Ogun State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and the state FGN/IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Programme, has commenced the harvesting of 125 hectares of Ofada rice.
It said about 500 hectares of rice plantations are due for harvest.
Speaking at the flag-off of wet season rice harvest held at Sowunmi village, Mokoloki Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state,the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, disclosed that the government is also planting rice in 10 different LGAs with existing four mills for processing.
He explained that the rice was planted in March shortly before the commencement of the COVID -19 lockdown.
“We are proud as a State, that the decision of the governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to grant permission and exemption for agricultural activities and support at the onset of the lockdown period, which coincided with the commencement of the rainy (wet) season, has yielded, and is still yielding practical results for all to see.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this harvesting is symbolic, as we are identifying with youth groups who have submitted themselves to the state-sponsored agricultural opportunities, as it abounds in all programmes facilitated by the governor, and approved in our agricultural road map,” he said.
He further disclosed that the state government had provided the seedlings, herbicides and fertilizers to the Eredo Youth Rice Farmers with 180 cluster groups.
On his part, the State Coordinator,The Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP),Samuel Adeogun, also stated that the state government supported the young farmers with land for planting.
He added that the expanse of land was first opened up in 2016 for rice planting with only 80 hectares put into use while the remaining portion had been fully utilized.
“This rice was planted during the COVID 19 pandemic to showcase to the country that Ogun State is a rice-producing state, ” Adeogun added.