Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has said his administration had initiated policies and programes to assist farmers and generate employment for the teeming youths.

Governor Akeredolu said his administration will be all ears to the plights of farmers, youths and women towards uplifting agriculture in the state.

The Governor spoke on Tuesday at the flag-off of Year 2019 Agricultural Season held at Mariwo Farm Settlement in Ifedore local government area of the state.

He stressed that government policies would always be targeted at increased production of the major agricultural products.

Arakunrin Akeredolu announced that his administration under the ‘Commercial Agricultural Credit scheme’ (CACs), has accessed a 2- billion naira loan for land clearing, Youth empowerment and other agricultural development projects.

According to the governor, policies and intervention of his administration include” the establishment of modern agricultural village at Jugbere, Owo Local Government Area where 500 farmers will be engaged on a four hectares (4Ha) of cocoa plantation each;

“Raising and distribution of 500,000 Cocoa and 250,000 cashew seedlings to farmers to further boost cocoa and cashew production in the State. The State Government has also concluded arrangement to distribute additional 100,000 cocoa seedlings for year 2019 planting season;

“Rapturing/registration of all farmers in the State forest reserves as a means of protecting the forest and ensuring adequate food production without hindrance;

“Collaboration with the Federal Government on national egg production scheme with 64,000 layers. Thirty-two of our farmers are currently participating in the scheme;

“Also, in collaboration with the Federal Government, the State participated in the “Home Grown School Feeding Programme “to improve the nutrition status of school pupils and prevent malnutrition among the vulnerable groups. Thus, expanding the market for our farmers’ produce;

“Engagement of 18,000 youths to pilot our ‘Youths on Ridges Programme’;

“Training of over 2,500 youths on Cassava Value Addition by OSAEC;

“Partnering foreign and private investors such as:

Cocaset Nig Ltd on sugar production;

DAWN Commission on rice production;

Dangote Groups on rice production;

NNPC/ODSG Cassava ethanol project at Okeluse;

Provision of credit facilities for youths and women under Fadama III Additional Financing Programme;

Establishment of ethanol industry where about 300-400 tons of cassava will be needed daily for processing and establishment of paper mill both in Odigbo Local Government Area. “