The Ondo state Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Olayato Aribo has stated that the two newly constructed garri processing facilities presented to Obada and Sopoto-Sepete communities in Ondo East local government will reduce poverty in the communities.
Aribo made the statement while handling over the facilities built in collaboration with the Federal Government through Nigeria REDD+ to the communities.
The Commissioner noted that youths would be engaged at the facilities and would create avenue for farmers to have access to machines to process their cassava to garri.
He said the benefiting communities were selected due to their nearness to the Akure Forest Reserve where they partnered in protecting the forest from deforestation and degradation.
The beneficiary communities are the pilot sites of REDD+ programme in the state with the support of FCPF-World Bank initiative to contribute to climate mitigation action in forest sector.
He, however charged them to protect the machines and imbibe maintenance culture so that the machines would serve them longer and better.
The Commissioner appreciated the REDD+for what he described as a laudable initiative which will evolve mechanisms that would benefit people at the grassroots under the Community Based Livelihood Support Initiatives.
In a remark, the National Coordinator of Nigeria REDD+, Dr. Moses Ama, who was represented by the Administrative Secretary of Forestry, sub-sector in the state, David Dada Adesina, congratulated the communities and urged them not to relent in their efforts in protecting the forest.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Chief Felix Akinmolayan appreciated Ondo state and the federal governments for constructing the factory for them, which he said will add value to their garri because the process would be done through modern ways.
He expressed their commitment to continually protect the forest from deforestation and degradation for the betterment of mankind.