In order to enhance agricultural productivity and create employment opportunities, the Southwestern states of Nigeria have sought the cooperation of the National Agricultural Development Fund (NADF).
Representatives from the six states, in a meeting facilitated by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), highlighted their specific areas where they require support from the agency, particularly in terms of funding.
During the meeting, the representatives from Lagos State placed emphasis on the establishment of agro-produce hubs and improving value chains in rice, coconut, red meat, poultry, fishery, and piggery. Meanwhile, their counterparts from Ekiti State prioritized cocoa, oil palm, rice, poultry, and small ruminants as key value chains.
The need for upgrading farmstead infrastructure, processing and storage facilities, mechanization support services, and land use mapping was stressed by all representatives. Delegates from Ogun State highlighted the comparative advantage of collaboration in the region for cassava and poultry production, as well as the cargo airport, and requested funding to increase their output. Ondo State sought funding support for land development, climate-smart agriculture, seedling development, forest regeneration, and the development of priority value chains.
Osun State sought funding support for rural road rehabilitation, upgrading of farm settlements, establishment of new ones, climate-smart initiatives, high-yield seedlings, and capacity building within priority value chains. Oyo State requested funding to support ongoing initiatives by the state government in mechanized farming, viable seed production, climate-smart agriculture, processing and storage facilities, and farm services.
Mohammed Abu Ibrahim, the Executive Secretary of NADF, stated that the agency is focused on improving agricultural output, import substitution, and employment generation, in line with the President’s agenda and the mission of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to transform Nigeria into an agricultural economy. He commended the efforts of the meeting’s convener and expressed his optimism about the strengthened bilateral relationship between NADF and the affected states.
Seye Oyeleye, the Director General of DAWN, highlighted that the organization is the best platform to engage with the six states of the region and assured stakeholders of their readiness to ensure the adoption of best practices.
The delegations from the six states were led by the Commissioners for Agriculture in Ekiti, Ogun, and Osun, Hon. Boluwade Ebenezer, Hon. Bolu Owotomo, and Hon. Tola Faseru, respectively. Representatives from the ministries of agriculture in Lagos, Ondo, and Oyo states, namely Audu Emmanuel, Ogunmola Edwards, and Olufunke Adeniran, were also present.