Ogun State government has proposed a budget of N21.137 billion for agriculture in the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
Presenting the bill before the State House Assembly in fulfilment of Section 121 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, said the N21.137 billion appropriated to agriculture represents 6.12 per cent of the state’s total N345.42 billion proposed budget for next year.
According to Amosun, the state government will continue to invest in agriculture because of its potential for generating employment opportunities for the populace especially the youths. He said his government would seek to improve on the average age of farmers, which is 60 years in Nigeria by encouraging the youths to take up farming not only as a profession but also as a business.
Amosun, therefore, said in 2018, the state government will encourage 10,000 youths to take part in Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers Programme with the government ready to provide expert advice trainings as well as cleared land.
He added that the state government would also improve farm settlements in the state to encourage food production while interested farmers will have access to land.
The governor also announced that the state is constructing six poultry pens with 10,000 capacity each at the Odeda Farm Institute to encourage protein intake and provide employment opportunity while 1,000 earthen fish ponds are also being dug in the three senatorial districts of the state namely Odeda, Imasayi and Ikenne.
He also stated that the state government will in 2018 embark on large production of vegetables both at the open and green houses in all the three senatorial districts while pineapple and banana plantations will be established across the state.
Amosun did not forget to add that the state will continue to encourage the production of local rice known as ofada as well as cassava, which it has comparative advantage over other states. A cluster farm of over 2,000 hectares of cassava farm will soon be established in Owowo in Ewekoro Local Government Area, while the state will, by next month, launch its branded rice, he said.