The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) is designed to ensure participating farmers make profit as well as propagate mechanised farming, thereby making the State the food basket of the nation.
Consultant on Agriculture, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, stated this while fielding questions with journalists at a training programme organized for Agriculture Extension Officers in the State, at Ministry of Agriculture Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, noted that the Programme would assist rural smallholder farmers to grow from subsistence to commercial production levels.
Dr. Oredipe, hinted that there was a ready market for their produce, as off takers had identified with the scheme, adding that the economic value of the programme would also boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the State.
“We have gone through the economics of production and established the fact that farmers would make profit from those ventures. What we are doing today is to train the frontline workers, who would have undertaken verification exercise for participants who have shown interest at their Local Government Areas “, he said.
He further explained that the training became imperative so as to equip Officers, as they would be saddled with the responsibility of undertaking verification of over 11, 000 farmers that have expressed interest.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye, noted that the Programme was a developmental scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support Ogun State farmers, especially the smallholder farmers engaged in the production of identified commodities, linking them with anchor companies, who play the role of off takers.
She also expressed satisfaction with the success recorded so far particularly, the level of youths’ commitment, noting that the Programme would create new generation of farmers and entrepreneurs while also creating employment.
One of trainees, Mr. Adesina Sotayo who spoke on behalf of other participants, noted that the training exposed them to what verification process entails, saying the Agriculture Extension Officers were committed to ensuring the success of the Programme.
Disu Ayobami & Olubayode Damilare
Press Officers, Ministry of Agriculture