The Netherlands Government has expressed readiness to collaborate with the Ogun State Government, towards ensuring food security through improved vegetable production.
The collaboration, it was said, will provide financial and technical support to over 2,000 vegetable farmers in the State.
The First Secretary, Food Security, and Climate, Netherlands Embassy, Lagos, Marisha Lammers, disclosed this at a meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The meeting also had as Ogun State delegation, comprising the Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser to Governor Abiodun, Dapo Okubadejo; his counterpart in Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina; other senior government officials, and representatives of the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC).
Lammers said the partnership would also be extended to Kano, Kaduna and Oyo States, adding that the initiative would provide technical and financial support to not less than 2,000 vegetable farmers.
“It is about increasing productivity of smallholder farmers in the partnering States. We are focusing on green-house farming as a pilot production innovation system in Ogun and Oyo, facilitating access to finance as we plan to link farmers and other value-chain actors to financial institutions,” She stated.
While responding, Okubadejo maintained that the present administration in the state was poised to achieve food security, and continue to collaborate with individuals and groups to further develop its agricultural sector.
He submitted that the State has large arable land, manpower, operational delivery platforms and political leadership required for the development of the horticulture value-chain for large scale production and exportation of vegetables.
’’Ogun State is the place to be because we have over 70 per cent of our land suitable for agriculture, combined with our proximity to Lagos. We have a very big agenda in agriculture based on our competitive and comparative advantages.
‘’One of our key objectives in agriculture is to achieve food security, and we are determined to do things differently, that is why we are developing an aerotropolis, where we have a special agro-processing zone that is fully dedicated to agro-industrial processing’’, the Commissioner explained.
On his part, Dr. Odedina, said the project was in line with the agricultural agenda of the present administration, adding that it would broaden the knowledge base of farmers in the sector.