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Ondo spends N.26b on Agric inputs subsidy, to reduce losses by farmers

Source: pointblanknews.com

In a bid to ensure that farmers in Ondo State have unlimited access to genuine and affordable inputs for increased food production, the Dr Olusegun Mimiko-led administration will spend over N260 million on agricultural inputs for farmers this year. This is in addition to the approved 30% subsidy by the government on all categories of farm inputs in the State.

Governor Mimiko made this known on Tuesday while performing the flag-off ceremony of Mobile Farm Service Centre at Ipele in Owo Local Government Area.

Besides, the government also approved a 50% subsidy on cutlasses and iron files currently in operation in the state just as it injected N200million into the Inputs revolving Fund to enable the State Agricultural Inputs Supply Agency tackle the perennial challenge of providing and accessing genuine inputs to the teeming farmers without stress.

According to Governor Mimiko, “Provision of genuine and adequate farm inputs at affordable prices had been a bane to our bid to develop agriculture and achieve food security in Nigeria. It is my belief that our gathering of today for this ceremony is a worthwhile venture. As you are all aware, farm activities are time bound, hence the need to be conscious of time and space.

“Another focus of this government of the people is to reduce to the barest minimum, the annual post-harvest losses experienced by our farmers. By this programme, the State Agricultural Inputs Supply Agency will receive farm produce from farmers at Guaranteed Minimum Prices which will consider all costs of production and add reasonable profit margins.”

Dr Mimiko also disclosed that the government had already released a sum of N25million into the farm produce buy-back programme which he revealed would commence before the end of the year.

The state government, he added, has also employed 20 graduates to manage its farm centres in addition to the purchase of N30million worth of vehicles to strengthen the agency to enable it live up to the expectations of the farmers and boost food production in the State within the shortest time possible.

His words: “The Mobile Farm Service Centres we are flagging off today is to bring farmers in the hinterland nearer to the point of sales and services in all the nooks and crannies of Ondo State. In our quest to strengthen the extension delivery services to the farmers of the state, this administration has recently procured for distribution, 200 motorcycles to ease the mobility problems of the Extension Officers.

“This step is aimed at improving the dissemination of information on improved technologies to the farmers in all the nooks and crannies of the state. The distribution of the motorcycles is backed up with monthly payment of maintenance allowance to the officers. It is hoped that the use of the motorcycles will enhance the monitoring activities of agro-inputs distribution, sales and their application by farmers” Dr Mimiko concluded.