Task Team leader, FADAMA III/ World Bank Mission programme in the state, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, during the project inspection by the team for joint 9th World Bank /FGN Supervision Mission to many parts of the state, disclosed that the Osun had performed so well. He further disclosed that the World Bank considered Osun among five other states has been approved for the take off of the FADAMA III programme.
The team leader, who explained that the World Bank mission through the FADAMA programme is determined to end hunger and reduce the amount of money Nigeria spends on importation, noted that the project has been hugely successful in Osun because of the commitment of Governor Aregbesola to banish hunger in the state. He said the effort of the state governor in collaboration with the FADAMA programme has placed Osun among the leading states in the growing of cassava across the country, a feat which he said is capable of making the state one of the most stable economies in the country. He explained that Osun which hitherto used to produce cassava in the region of 12 metric tons per hectre now boast of around 23 metric tons per hectre, noting that while other states are still struggling with their counterpart fund, Osun has already released the sum of N321 million to support the programme. Oredipe added that the World Bank has no choice than to support Osun because the state has never been found wanting in its obligations. According to him, the state now boasts of ten processing centers spread across the state as well as a tractor hiring center.
The FADAMA/World Bank representative also emphasised that agrigation centers where offtakers can meet with farmers have been established across the state in a bid to further encourage farmers in the state. He said: “I must confess here that FADAMA project has been hugely successful in Osun because we have a governor in the state who is determined to end hunger among his people and also wants to encourage young people into farming. Since governor Rauf Aregbesola has been taking care of the state’s responsibility as at when due we have no other option than to support the state with everything we have got, Infact we are encouraged by the governor’s actions. It is only Osun that pays its counterpart fund even before we demand for it and it is only this state that is not owing a dime in counterpart fund payment. Infact the state just released N321 million as counterpart fund for FADAMA III project. We are more determined to continue to collaborate with Osun to sustain the dream of banishing hunger in the state. It is a pride to us that Osun is now one of the leading growers of cassava in the country. The state used to produce just 12 meteic tons of cassava per hectre but now we are happy that it has jumped to 23 metric tons per hectre and there is still room and the hope for improvement.”
Some of the project sites visited by the team include Ifesowadotun PG; Ewa-Oluwa Community, Alaro Activities Cassava Production, FFCA Project at Iwoye and Egbedore among others.
One of the partakers of the FADAMA project in Osun, the Olu of Idi-Iroko, Oba Lateef Oyawale, who is also the chairman of the Osun Farmers Community Association, noted that the Rauf Aregbesola administration had made a success of the project in the state. He said farmers across the state are always encouraged by the attitude of the governor towards issues relating to agriculture. Oba Oyawale said: “Food production is bound to improve in Osun because we have a governor who doesn’t want anybody to go hungry. His attitude towards agriculture has been a source of encouragement to us.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Mr. Cladius Aderemi Kolajo, said Osun has been in the forefront and therfore would always be in the good book of the World Bank. He said that the state government was up-to-date in meeting the eligibility criteria to participate in the projects since 2015. He added that there are many success stories of FADAMA 111 AF project in the state. According to him, FADAMA 111 AF Project has positively impacted on many lives and communities in the three senatorial districts of the state. He maintained that the FADAMA 111 AF project is in line with the six point integral action plan of the Aregbesola administration, which he said was designed to banish poverty, banish hunger, create work and wealth, ensure communal peace and progress, restore healthy living and to ensure functional education. He said it was on record that FADAMA project has created 2, 154 direct jobs and over 100,000 indirect jobs. The direct beneficiaries of the project are the farmers while the indirect beneficiaries are the agro-dealers, service providers, professors, artisans and the project management team.
He continued: “2,154 farmers benefited from Capacity Building training at no cost the farmers. The training was 100 percent supported by the state government and the World Bank. 2,154 farmers benefited from upstream advisory service with the assistance of the ASICs engaged in the projects. Ten cassava processing Centre have been constructed and were spread across all Senatorial District in the state, while two cassava aggregation Centres are under construction in Iwoye (Egbedore LGA) among other achievements.”