By Salawu Patience
The Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture Hon Timothy Ojomah has affirmed that the state will continue to provide maximum support to all farmers in the state.
The Hon Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Hajia Lawal Lamy Saratu, while receiving the Chairman of the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria and other Farmers’ Associations in her office, said the State Government would ensure that the coconut seedlings allocated to the State by the Federal Ministry of Agric and Rural Development (FMARD) will be judiciously and transparently distributed to the farmers.
This she said would be done through their Associations in the 21 LGAs, while promising that the Government shall maintain this routine activity with other Agric crops coming subsequently.
In his response, the Chairman of the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, ably represented by their State Secretary, Alh. Baba-Nagari Suleiman, appreciated the Permanent Secretary for the transparent process used in the distribution.
He appreciated the fact that for the very first time the association, since its inauguration two (2) years ago, was given this recognition, stressing that the mandate of the association was for coconut sufficiency in Kogi State.
He added that enlightenment is ongoing to encourage farmers and other would be farmers, especially the youths, to key into coconut farming.
He thanked the State Government for allocating farmlands to coconut farmers across the 21 LGAs, which was officially launched by this present Government.
The President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Kogi State Chapter, Alhaji Salihu Adobanyi Momoh, described the Permanent Secretary as a woman of substance whose short stay in the Ministry has brought tremendous change to the Ministry of Agriculture in the state.
He emphasized that coconut farming is a cash flowing business and suggested that anyone who wanted to benefit from the initiative should get registered and recognition should be accorded the umbrella body, AFAN, which they represent.
About nine (9) other farmers associations, including Cassava, Cocoa, Coffee & Tea, All Women Farmers Initiative, etc were all present to witness the distribution. A total of 480, (four hundred and eighty) coconut seedlings were given to Coconut farmers Association while it was agreed that 200 seedlings should be allocated to 23 Secondary Schools in each of the Senatorial Districts, as already captured in the “Schools farms training”, carried out earlier by the Ministry (@ 3 seedlings per School) to be fully monitored by the Association and the Farm Extension Workers of the Ministry, while 5 (five) seedlings each should be allotted the Farmers Associations invited, and 10 seedlings to AFAN.
The Ministry is to retain a few in its nursery for upward training of farmers, while the remaining balance of about 70 seedlings are to be decided by the Coconut Seedlings Farmers Association on its utilisation.