By Matthew Denis
Soyabeans has been identified as the agricultural product of exportable standard for farmers in Kwara State.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the state Committee on Export Promotion, Alhaji Bayo Onimago at a sensitisation programme organised for farmers, recently.
The programme was sponsored by the state government in partnership with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and National Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
He said:” We made assertion at the last national conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State that Nigeria is over dependent on oil and there is need for diversification into the agriculture sector.
“When we came back to the state we had a stakeholders meeting, which included NEPC, All Farmers Association of Nigeria and we identified one agricultural product of exportable standard which is the Soya beans,”
Onimago who doubles as Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Commerce and Cooperative, explained that the programme was aimed at ensuring that the farmers and the Private Anchor Borrower Personnel, Retired Justice of Federal High Court, Justice Lambo Akanbi determine the price of the crop.
He further explained that sub-committees were created and farmers identified based on their registered cooperative societies and selected local governments.
“Now that the CBN and Bank of Agriculture has come out with the list of screened farmers, we are now conducting town hall meeting to decide on economic aspect of production so that both farmers and state government will be on the same page before presenting it to the anchor personnel,” he further said.
Onimago disclosed that 1,650 farmers benefitted from the training programme, adding “For a start, a farmer is entitled to one hectare of farmland and we can increase it based on our monitoring and evaluation in subsequent years.”
On his part, Justice Akanbi said ” I’m here as an anchor who is interested in soyabeans products to enhance exports activities in the country.”
He stressed that the programme is targeted at wooing more youths into the agricultural sector.