PIND partners Edo govt to boost productivity of smallholder farmers

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The need to increase food production and boost the economy of rural farmers in Edo state took center stage as stakeholders called for more access to arable land to boost productivity, particularly among smallholder farmers.

The Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) in collaboration with the Edo state government at a stakeholders workshop on access to land intervention with the theme:  “Value Proposition for Sustainable Arable Land in Edo state”, also had in attendance farmers associations in the state.

Advocacy Manager, (PIND), Chucks Ofulue, who represented the Executive Director, Mr. Tunji Idowu, expressed optimism that at the end of the deliberations legislation should be put in place and enforced for the smooth operation to access land.

“What we want to achieve is to ensure that the government can legislate on the propositions that will come out from the committee because if you don’t legislate on it you can’t enforce and that is what we are hoping for.

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“We are partnering with Edo state and in other areas particularly in realizing our long term, thirty years plan in agricultural policies and in moving on with policies generally.

“We have identified arable land for smallholder farmers as a problem within the state and we are trying to collaborate with the state government to alleviate that problem and to ensure that smallholder farmers have access to arable land to increase productivity and then increase their income.

Also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Peter Aikhuomobhogbe highlighted the importance of smallholder’s farmer’s contribution to the agricultural sectors.

“Smallholder farming can be an effective way to increase food production in rural areas. Smallholder agriculture is a way for poor rural people to feed themselves and their neighbours.

“It is also a way of generating income and stimulating vibrant rural economies, creating new opportunities for young rural people so that the poor rural people of today can become rural entrepreneurs of tomorrow in Nigeria.

“Let us seize the current moment and demonstrate that easing access to land for smallholders, large investors inclusive are a part of the solution and that they can feed Nigeria.

Dr. Roland Ehigiamusor, oil palm farmer, commended the Edo state government and the organizers for making effort in organizing farming procedures in the state.

“If we were to continue as we are performing with all the CDA’s unorganized with farming procedures, we will not cope with the present-day population and we will not make any headway. But as it is done now and the world over we can produce more per-square area. We need to organize and plan properly to develop the state”

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