Ogun Pumps ₦50m Into Fish Farming, Cross River Eyes ₦30bn Agric Fund

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News in brief:
Ogun State has granted a ₦50 million loan to the IDIPR for fish farming in a move to enhance food security and development in the agriculture and fish sub-sectors.
– Cross River State is set to unveil a ₦30 billion commercial agriculture development fund to support farmers, transition to commercial farming, and develop underutilised arable land.

Ogun State has thrown its weight behind fish farming, granting a ₦50 million loan to the Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR) in Odogbolu Local Government Area. This move aims to boost food security and development in the agriculture and fish sub-sectors.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Bolu Owotomo, presented the cheque under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS). He mentioned the IDIPR’s track record during his address, noting the organisation’s successful repayment of a previous ₦110 million loan received in installments since 2012.

Owotomo remarked that the group is a reputable organisation to alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable people in the state. He highlighted the government’s broader agricultural focus beyond just fish farming and cited recent initiatives like discounted maize supply to poultry farmers.

Meanwhile, Cross River State announced plans to unveil a ₦30 billion commercial agriculture development fund. This ambitious project aims to provide farmers with easier access to loans and propel the state towards food sufficiency and agricultural prowess.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Johnson Ebokpo, announced the fund, stressing its focus on transitioning farmers from subsistence to commercial levels. He said that the fund’s potential to bolster the maize, cassava, aquaculture, and rice sectors, would enable year-round farming.

Ebokpo explained the initiative’s motivation, citing Cross River’s vast arable underutilised (1.8 million hectares) land due to funding constraints. He also pointed out the state’s reliance on northern states for maize despite its own agricultural potential.

In addition, the fund, warehoused by a consortium of banks and guaranteed by the state government, aims to bridge this gap for six years. Ebokpo acknowledged potential contributions from international partners who have been attracted by the government’s commitment.

Beyond the fund, Cross River also plans to launch the Code River State-Wide Irrigation Infrastructure Development Project and implement a Cassava Value Chain Development Policy framework. These efforts aim to further enhance agricultural production and attract investments, particularly in the cassava sub-sector.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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