Maize and Soya Beans farmers in Ekiti will benefit from a support fund of N3.5 billion in the current planting season.
This was disclosed in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday by the Managing Director of a Netherland-based firm,Terra Agricultural Support Company, Mr Reye Haveman, at a meeting with representatives of the state government.
The government representatives were led by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Folorunso Olabode, and the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Mr Olukayode Ilesanmi.
Haveman said he chose 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 said he was relying on the list of farmers and data provided by the state government in the execution of the
He stressed the need for all stakeholders to display transparency and honesty in order to protect the image of the government and company that were built over the years.
Haveman said he would soon sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding, on behalf of the company with the state government.
He added that under the proposal, 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.
While answering questions on some grey areas of the investment proposal, Haveman said that the pricing of products would be based on the prevailing market situation.
He gave an assurance that the organisation had come to stay permanently in Ekiti to aggressively support farmers to attain their goals.
The managing director also revealed that his Terra group was working toward creating a value chain by encouraging local processing of farm products.
He added that most of his programmes for the state could not be executed this year as a result of bureaucratic bottlenecks that had delayed the commencement.
Responding, Olabode assured the investors that the state was desirable of having his team in this critical era of dwindling oil price.
Olabode, who disclosed that some other agriculture-based organisations had also signified interest at investing in the sector, urged them to make their support timely, accurate, qualitative and reasonably cheap and affordable to the farmers.
The commissioner called for transparency in the grading of products as well as involve government extension officers in the monitoring and training of participating farmers.
In his contribution, Ilesanmi stressed the importance of supplying the farmers with high yield seeds, quality herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers. (NAN)