Ondo State Government yesterday kick started the distribution of 250,000 improved cocoa seedlings to farmers across the state as it awaits the N20billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) allocation to farmers.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Asiwaju Adegboyega Adefarati made this known during the flag-off of the distribution held in Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo local government area of Ondo state.
Adefarati said the seedlings which are high yielding, early maturing, insect pest and disease resistant varieties were distributed freely for farmers to domesticate on their farms.
“It would also help to consolidate the position as the leading producer of cocoa and to remain at the pinnacle of its production,” he stressed.
The Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Segun Odusanya told newsmen that the distribution was to improve the quality of produce yields of the farmers.
Odusanya who confirmed that the seedlings were given to real farmers said the ministry has the register of all farmers who belong to different commodity associations.
He disclosed that about 200 seedlings will be given to each farmer saying that the state is targeting about 2,000 farmers for the programme.
The President of Farmers Business Union in Ondo state and local government chairman of Farmers Congress, Chief Ebenezer Adenisimi said they were impressed with the level of the dividends of democracy being delivered to the people by the state governor to empower farmers across the three senatorial districts of the state .
The Chairperson of Ile-Oluji Development Council of Ile-Oluji kingdom, Chief Dupe Ogunsusi declared that farmers will benefit from the gesture because it will give them better yield to cater for their families.
The former Caretaker Chairman of Ile-Oluji Okeigbo local government, Mr Temidayo Akinsuroju appreciated the state government for extending support to the citizens of Ile-Oluji.
The Director, Project Manager of Tree Crop unit at the ministry, Mrs Mary Omogunwa thanked the government for bringing the department back to life on its responsibility.