Kogi to Launch Agric. Villages, Settlements – Official

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KOGI Government says it will soon launch its Fair Agricultural Project (FAP) in designated villages and settlements for farmers and those in the agriculture value chains.

Mr Paul Okatahi, the Managing Director of the state Agriculture Development Project (ADP), disclosed this to journalists on Friday in Lokoja.

Okatahi also said the state government had through the ADP concluded arrangements to convene the maiden edition of Agricultural Summit from Monday to Tuesday in Lokoja.

Okatahi described FAP as the vehicle for implementation of the “Agriculturist vision’’ of the state government.

“FAP is designed to create Agricultural villages or settlements,” he said.

In the villages, farmers and all those in the value chain will specialise in the production, processing and sale of one crop which will help them carve a niche.’’

He said that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, would make a lead presentation at the occasion, entitled: “It is Agriculture’s Time to Shine.”

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The managing director also hinted that there would be several paper presentations from ADP officials, Civil Society Organisations as well as representatives of credit or financial institutions.

Okatahi said it the summit would help farmers in the state to consolidate on production of cassava, rice and cashew and also to be number one for the cultivation of other crops such as soya beans and maize.

“Kogi is already the number one cassava producer in Nigeria and by extension number one in the world.

‘’Nigeria produces 54 million metric tonnes  of cassava  per annum while Kogi produces slightly over four million metric tonnes.

“The summit is expected to bring about expedited action on agricultural development while there will be the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with investors during and after the summit.”

Okatahi also said that the event would also feature granting of investors conditional Certificate of Ownership (C of O) to develop Fair Agricultural Project (FAP) villages which would be tied to performance milestones.

He said the summit was an opportunity to bring together stakeholders, including investors, farmers, sponsors, academics and general public to deliberate and create opportunities within the state.

He said that the summit with the theme: “Agriculture: Investment Opportunities”, would be declared open by Gov. Yahaya Bello who would thereafter launch the Fair Agricultural Project (FAP).

According to Okatahi, it is expected to improve collaboration between agricultural and other relevant organisations with the state government, using ADP as the focal point.

It is also to feature registration of farmers on the on-line farmers’ directory to enhance seamless communication with farmers and as well build on-line commodity exchange for farmers.

NAN

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