The Edo State Government has commenced disbursement of loans to farmers as part of plans to boost food security in the post coronavirus (COVID-19) economy.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Prince Joe Okojie, disclosed this during sensitisation programmes for farmers organised in different locations in the state, including Agbede, Ubiaja and Abudu.
He said the sensitisation programme was held to educate farmers on the economics of food production, which will assist them maximize profit and improve production as the state government galvanises farmers to attain its food security targets.
“We are here to sensitise the farmers on rice, cassava and maize production as they are about to start this year’s farming season,” he said.
He added that the loans are being disbursed to assist the farmers in boosting the state’s food production drive, adding, “Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Godwin Obaseki has envisaged that there could be food scarcity. He took a drastic step to mitigate this during and after the outbreak.”
He noted, “The government is putting mechanisms in place to help boost food production in the state by way of giving out loans to farmers with a 5 percent interest rate. They are encouraged to produce, while the government guarantees market access. Essentially, what we are doing here is to aggregate the farmers and sensitise them on the government’s agripreneur programme.”
One of the beneficiaries of the Edo State agripreneur programme in Agbede, Mrs. Vivian Anavberokhai said the programme is commendable and impactful, adding, “We are very happy to be beneficiaries of this laudable training. We know it will help us increase food production and maximise profit for farmers.”