In a pivotal move to secure the future of agriculture in Ogun State and enhance its agro-exports, the state government has launched an extensive campaign to caution farmers against the use of banned agro-chemicals. This stern warning came as a response to the perilous health and environmental risks associated with the improper use of these chemicals.
The backdrop for this cautionary call is the alarming trend of employing prohibited agro-chemicals in the cultivation of exportable crops, a practice that could undermine the State’s ambitious non-oil export agenda. During the third-quarter committee meeting in 2023, held at the Ministry’s Conference Room in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the Chairman of the State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP), Dr. Olu Aikulola, vehemently condemned this practice. He emphasised its detrimental impact on government efforts to bolster non-oil exports, highlighting the potential for international goods rejection, financial losses, and damage to the nation’s reputation.
Dr. Aikulola assured stakeholders that the government would spare no effort in ensuring that the enlightenment campaign reaches all relevant parties. He also urged the Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP) to take the lead in sensitising farmers through its extensive network across the state, as a means of responding with an unwavering support. Furthermore, he commended the SCEP’s initiative to make productive use of the Cashew Processing Machine in Imasayi, Yewa North Local Government Area, which is poised to revitalise cashew processing and exportation in the state. He expressed willingness to extend this support to other interested stakeholders like the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), contingent on communication from the Olu of Imasayi, Oba Lukman Kuoye, regarding the community’s stance on the machine’s usage.
FarmingFarmersFarms has found that there is a trend among cashew farmers in Imasayi, who prioritise the sale of unprocessed cashew nuts, entering into agreements with off-takers thereby compromising their profits. To address this challenge, Mr. Olatunji Ogidan, Programme Officer at the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), pledged the agency’s support in facilitating beneficial off-taker agreements and connecting farmers with the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank for credit access at a favourable rate of one per cent interest rate. The meeting had the presence of various stakeholders in the export business, including, the former Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA); Dr. John Isemede, amongst others.