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By Adedayo Olajide
Over seven thousand youths in Ogun State have so far been empowered by the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ agricultural programme through the Cassava Intervention Project by the state government.
This was contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Kunle Somorin, at the weekend.
Somorin said the agricultural project, tagged ‘Mega Ogun State Cassava Intervention Project’ was flagged off May 4, 2020, by Governor Abiodun, as part of his administration’s resolve to ensure food security and youth empowerment.
He explained that the project which was kick started by the governor with the presentation of 3,500 candidates to the CBN and the National Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), is being carried out sixteen locations across the state.
The CPS added in the statement that the candidates are now at the money making stage as their produce had been sold to various off takers provided by the state government.
Somorin stated further that the project, has however, been expanded to accommodate additional 3,500 candidates, while the governor approved the clearing of 2,500h of land by the State Ministry of Agriculture.
“In response to the claim by young beneficiaries of the project, the Governor also approved the clearing of 2500ha by the Ministry of Agriculture for candidates who claimed not to have land which is a requirement for the linkage programme in sixteen locations across the State.
Cumulative beneficiaries is now close to 7,000.
” On September 24 in Ikenne Farm Settlement, Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, which is one of the land clearing sites Central Bank of Nigeria and its service provider for the post land clearing services of ploughing, harrowing, mechanical planting made available for 100 youths in Ikenne cluster, land already prepared and commenced mechanical planting in the presence of the youths.
“The linkage programme is continuous as there are other six sites to follow which include, Pagbonrinoba (Ipokia LGA) Afon Estate(Imeko LGA) Mapoly(Obafemi Owode LGA), Obafe Town (Obafemi Owode LGA), Apojola(Odeda LGA) and Omugbawojo(Ijebu North East LGA)”. The statement stated.
The statement added that dignitaries including the representative of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Rasheed Fajimi; Vice Chairman, Ikenne Local Government, Mrs Bolanle Fakoya; the Vice Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Hon. Yusuf Adejojo; members of the Committee, Steering Committee members of Ogun State Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Programme Manager, Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme, Mrs Taiwo Ayansanwo; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr Angel Adelaja- Kuye; ADP staff, Extension Agents and other stakeholders in the cassava sector witnessed the event in the Ikenne Farm Settlement.