Ogun Sets Aside N11bn For Agricultural ProductionLatest News, News From The State Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
The Ogun State Government has set aside about N11 billion for large-scale farming and improved agricultural production this year, with planned expansion of state-owned cocoa, oil palm, cotton, kolanut and cashew plantations located across the state.
The state government intends to install a 15,000-capacity hatchery and engage in massive production of point-of-cage pullets.
Speaking on the state’s agricultural development at the 2014 Ogun State budget breakdown held in Abeokuta, Oluwande Muoyo, commissioner for budget and planning, said the budgetary allocation was made for agricultural sector to consolidate on the success achieved last year on agricultural production.
She said government had also acquired about 10,000 hectares of agricultural land for allocation to investors to promote large-scale farming and improved agricultural production, as part of government efforts to provide platform for an agriculture-based industrialisation, saying the procurement of additional land clearing and farming equipment was underway.
However, the commissioner listed the areas of agriculture intervention for this year as the establishment of standard semi-abattoirs in major cities, production of maize seeds, rice seeds and cassava cuttings for distribution to farmers at highly subsidised rates, replication of Owowo model farms in other two senatorial districts and development of hydroponics franchise scheme using greenhouse technology in tomato and pepper production.
Meanwhile, the state government has entered into an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to boost the production of fresh fish in commercial quantity through a cage culture system.
The partnership was part of measures taken to bridge the gap the recent ban by the Federal Government on fish importation might create in the state.
The cage culture system is an advanced fish breeding system put in place by the Federal Government in collaboration with Ogun State at the riverine Iwopin area in Ogun Waterside Local Government, where large fishing nets containing fishes would be placed directly in flowing rivers and guarded with floating materials to make the fishes grow in a controlled environment and protect them from being washed away when the river overflows.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the pilot cage presented to Adijagun Fishermen and Fish Sellers Cooperative Union at Iwopin, Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, said collaboration between the Federal Government and Ogun as regards fresh fish production was in line with government’s agenda on improved agricultural production, especially in fish breeding.
Sokefun disclosed that the initiative was part of efforts to reduce capital flight and correct balance of payment as well as enhance food production, explaining that breeding method would take only four months for fish to reach maturity as against longer time that would be needed for other methods, just as she pledged distribution of such cages to more fish farmers.
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