April 15, 2024

As part of its Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) initiative to cushion the effect of economic hardship on residents of the state, the Oyo State Government has begun the second phase of distributing agriculture inputs to farmers.

The government, at an event organised by the SAfER Committee through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, kicked off the distribution of 3,000 bags of 15kg fish feeds to 1,000 fish farmers across the state.

The government had flagged off the first phase of the exercise with the distribution of inputs to poultry farmers with about 24,000 bags of 50kg maize already distributed to date.

Flagging off the second phase of the distribution of agriculture inputs to farmers at the open space of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, the chairman of the SAfER Committee and Chief of Staff to the governor, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi, lauded Governor ‘Seyi Makinde for coming up with the well-thought-out initiative.

Ogunwuyi, who was represented by the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Professor Musibau Babatunde, disclosed that distribution of farm inputs is meant to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy on farmers and also contribute towards food security in the state.

He added that the government’s intervention during the first phase of distribution of 24,000 bags of 50kg maize to poultry farmers, “had a great economic impact, as it brought down the prices of poultry products in the state.”

He explained that Oyo State used to be the highest producer of catfish in Nigeria, but lost the leadership due to challenges of high cost of fish feeds, COVID-19 pandemic and the re-designing of currencies, saying the distribution of feeds is aimed at supporting fish farmers to go back to the farm for massive production of fish for the state.

He said: “It is my singular honour and pleasure to stand before you today at this second phase of distribution of agricultural inputs to fish farmers in the state. The first phase of the distribution of 24,000 bags of 50kg maize to poultry farmers took place on the 27th October, 2023 and it continues till date. Now, it is the turn of fish farmers who will receive 3,000 bags of 15kg of fish feeds under the SAfER Initiative of the Oyo State Government.”

“Oyo State is non-coastal, landlocked and blessed with some major rivers and tributaries with a total surface area of 10,250.18 hectares.”

Speaking about the government’s determination to return the state to its leadership position in fish production, he said, “Unfortunately, fish production in the state reduced due to the aforementioned unfortunate circumstances.

“Most states of the federation used to source table fish and fish seeds from Oyo State Fish Farm, Agodi, Ibadan when the farm was a model demonstration farm in collaboration with University of Ibadan.

“However, the present administration in the state under the dynamic leadership of the Executive Governor, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde, FNSE, DSC,GSSRS; is making concerted efforts in engaging private investors to upgrade the fish farm for optimum fish production under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

“The state government is very conscious of prevailing economic situations in the country and that informed the decision to intervene and enlist the fisheries sub-sector to the beneficiaries of palliatives initiative by the government through the distribution of fish feeds to every enlisted fish farmer.

“This intervention is aimed at supporting fish farmers and encouraging you to go back to farm to bring back the glory of the State in terms of massive fish production.”

While imploring the beneficiaries to make good use of the intervention, he explained that each beneficiary would go home with 3 bags of 15kg fish feeds while over 1,000 fish farmers who are registered with Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria would benefit from the intervention programme.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mrs Christianah Abioye, commended the state government for being compassionate to the farmers, especially during the hard time in the country.

She, therefore, enjoined the beneficiaries to use the inputs to boost the production of their fish farms so as to remain in business and equally complement the effort of the state government.

In his remarks, the chairman, Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria, (CAFFAN), Oyo State Chapter, Mr Adedeji Adenuga, expressed gratitude to the state government, noting that the high cost of fish feeds had forced some farmers out of the business.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Adebayo Ayanwale from Ido Local Government said the fish farmers in the state are grateful for the gesture. He added that Governor Makinde has done well to remember the fish farmers in the state, stating that it was the first time that would happen.

Signed
Sulaimon Olanrewaju,
Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor,
January 31, 2024.

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