By Nefishetu Yakubu
Mr Wellington Omoragbon, the Director of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, says the federal government boosted agricultural development in Edo.
He said in an interview in Benin that the federal government’s intervention on agriculture in the state from 2015 to date had been tremendous.
Omoragbon told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the feats were achieved on the platform of the Agricultural Promotion Plan (APP) introduced to attain sustainable national food security in the country.
He noted that the APP was designed to reposition agriculture as a vehicle for economic growth and employment creation.
He explained that the federal government had supplied farm inputs to farmers at 50 per cent subsidised rates and sometimes free.
“The federal government has remained committed to the training of farmers and extension agents in the state.
” The federal government trained more than 40 extension agents to teach farmers in the state modern agricultural best practices.
“More that 150 rice farmers, 30 honey and 40 coconut farmers have also been trained with emphasis on women and youths.
“The ministry has also given out five units of agro-processing equipment for oil palm and cassava.
“They were given to farmers in Okogbo village in Orhionmwon Local Government Area for value addition to the production of oil palm and cassava.
“Five tricycles were given to five cooperative society to evacuate their produce to the market from their farms, among others,” he said.
Omoragbon stated that in the rural development, the federal government had constructed 30 motorised boreholes and 3,100 solar street lights in Edo communities.
He listed the beneficiary communities across the state to include Unemen, Uhonmora, Utagban, Evbiodia, Uromi town,Igara, Iguobazuwa, Ihumudumu, Eme-Ora, Otuo, Ubiaja, Ikoro, Ekenwan, Okogbo and Afuze, among others.
He further explained that more than 40 rural roads spanning 120 kilometres had been constructed and rehabilitated across the state
He noted that the ministry had built a rural modern market in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo with water facility and a fish market at illushi in Esan South West Local Government and handed over the facilities to the communities.
“Under animal husbandry, we have built pig pen, distributed fish fingerlings, goats to farmers in collaboration with the state Agricultural Developnent Programme.
“Two completed units of 20 metric tonnes of rice processing machine were also distributed to farmers.
He said that the federal government had built a 2,000 metric tonne-capacity warehouse inside the Irrua silo complex in Esan Central Local Government Area of the state.
He noted that the 25,000 metric tonne-capacity silo have been rehabilitated and ready to receive grains.
The director further said that a 500 hectares of land had been prepared for farmers in Uzanu community in Etsako East Local Government Area and 50 hectares for rice farmers.(NAN)