Ekiti Government plans to boost Rice Production in the state.
In his bid to increase rice production in Ekiti state, the Hon Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Honorable Kehinde Odebunmi has met with Rice Growers and Rice Processors, to discuss ways of helping the Farmers to increase rice production, and expand the rice business in the state.
The State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development provided fund to empower the farmers from Commercial Agric Scheme Fund (CACS Fund).
In his address to the Famers and Processors present at the meeting, the Hon commissioner said, the state governor, Dr Peter Ayodele Fayose is determined to make Ekiti the food basket of the nation, and one of the best ways of doing this is by empowering farmers in the state with loan and subsidized agricultural inputs.
The commissioner further stressed that, In 2014, the state government disbursed N17Million to some farmers to grow and Expand their businesses, but up till this moment nothing has been refunded to the state coffer. Odebunmi said the state government is more than ready to help the farmers, only if they are ready to help the state by paying up loans gotten from government.
He said the non-repayment of loan is a major impediment to the sustainability of the programme. He further stated that the fund was a revolving one, and not a share of a supposedly ‘National Cake’.
The commissioner has therefore directed Fountain Agricultural Marketing Agency (FAMA) an Agency in the Ministry of Agriculture to put up a strategy on how to totally recover the debt owed by the debtors in order to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
The Agency has swung into action, and is presently collaborating with a Private Loan Repayment Firm through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to recover from the debtors (Farmers and Processors) debt they are owing the government.
The Agency provides marketing platform to the farmers through provision of fertilizer to the farmers, recovering of loan from farmers and making the funds available in the next cropping Season.
Sent in By: Debola Akingbade From Ado Ekiti