The Edo state government says it is committed to linking off-takers to farmers to reduce post-harvest losses and guarantee investments in agriculture.
Special Adviser to Edo state governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Hon. Prince Joe Okojie, calls for off-takers of maize, cassava, and rice under the state’s Agriprenuer Project in the coming planting season.
“The off-takers would mop up the harvest from the farms, and we can assure that the product would be of the best quality because we are working with experts to train the farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and also supply the best of inputs to ensure that the products meet standards. This is also another avenue for the state governor to ensure that the youths going into agriculture are assured of buyers and aggregators for their produce so that they are motivated to stay on the farms and are assured of returns from their investments” he says
The state government initiated the Agriprenuer Project as part of governor Godwin Obaseki’s Accelerated Agriculture Initiatives.
It was piloted in 2017 with some of the farmers located at the Sobe Farm Settlement.
The project aims to engage youths in agribusiness, provide them with land, assist in farm management and facilitate access to high-yielding crop varieties and other inputs.
5,000 hectares of farmland was donated for cultivation in the project. About 1,000 hectares was cultivated last year. The activity provided employment for 200 youths in the state.
This year, over 2,000 hectares have been cleared, much of which will be included in the Agripreneur programme.