3,700 farmers to benefit from integrated farms programme in Kogi
At least, 3,700 farmers are to benefit from the Integrated Farm Settlements programme under the APPEALS-Women and Youth Empowerment Programme in Kogi State.
APPEALS Project Coordinator in the state, Dr Sani Abdullahi Ozomata disclosed this in Lokoja at the presentation of the Kogi State APPEALS Integrated Farm Settlement project to members of the state executive council.
He said the farm settlements will be located in the three senatorial districts of the state with 1700 direct beneficiaries and 2000 indirect beneficiaries.
Ozomata said the idea of establishing an integrated farm settlements for beneficiaries of the APPEALS-Women and Youth Empowerment programme was to develop a commodity-based cluster formation model with associated business investment plan leading to the economic empowerment and livelihood improvement of the beneficiaries.
Ozomata enumerated areas of benefits for the state to include increase in internally generated revenues, job creation, and value addition to the common staple crops in the state, among others.
Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, in his response said his administration would give full support to the establishment of the integrated farm settlements for beneficiaries of the APPEALS-Women and Youth Empowerment Programme, describing the initiative as a model for other states to emulate.
He stated that the importance of agriculture as catalyst for economic growth could not be overemphasized, hence the commitment of his administration to making agriculture receive the desired attention.
In his remarks, the state deputy governor and chairman, State Steering Committee for the APPEALS project, Chief Edward Onoja, lauded the ingenuity of the state project coordinator in coming up with the idea of the integrated farm settlements, noting that the model when implemented will serve as a reference point for other states to emulate.
Earlier in his address, the lead consultant for the establishment of the integrated farm settlement, Dr Oyesola oyebanji commended the state governor for its immense support towards the implementation of the APPEALS project in the state.
He told the governor that the integrated farm settlements when implemented have the capacity to transform the agricultural landscape of the state. He said the settlement will enable beneficiaries gain access to common user infrastructure that will support the commercial viability of their agribusiness enterprise.