Through its Ogun State Economic Transformation Project (OGSTEP), the Ogun State government has finalized plans to engage 40,000 smallholder farmers, with a focus on women and youths, to ensure the state’s long-term agricultural development.
About The Programme
The OGSTEP initiative is a five-year public-private collaboration with World Bank support that aims to boost agricultural development, job creation, food security, and economic empowerment throughout the state’s 20 local government areas.
Dr. Dotun Sorunke, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, stated this in Abeokuta at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement forum on the Agricultural Value Chain Development Process.
Dr. Sorunke explained that the agriculture sector of OGSTEP was launched by the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to increase private sector participation in the state’s economy and enhance smallholder farmers’ agricultural production and productivity.
Dr. Angel Adelaja-Kuye, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, also spoke about how the project would achieve gender balance.
Earlier in her speech, the Project Coordinator, Mrs. Mosun Owo-Odunsi, who was represented by Mr. Fatai Osunsanya, a Technical and Vocational Education and Training Specialist, emphasized the importance of boosting agriculture through a business-friendly environment that would attract more private investors in agribusiness with guaranteed off-takers to promote industrialisation.
Dr. (Mrs.) Oluseyi Olugbire, Acting Project Manager, OGSTEP (Agric), said in her presentation that OGSTEP would operate on a farmer per hectare basis, with the government providing funds and infrastructural amenities like roads, irrigation systems, electrification, and storage facilities that would be of great value to agricultural activities in the chosen areas.
Farmers who grow maize, rice, cassava, sesame, soybean, horticulture, aquaculture, and poultry will benefit from the program, according to Olugbire.
Alhaja Lola Kushimo, Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Ogun State Chapter, spoke on behalf of the farmers, praising the current administration’s efforts to improve farmers’ livelihoods.