By Kehinde Oluwatayo & Lola Omowaye
Cassava farmers under the aegis of Fadama III Additional Financing in Ondo State have commended the World Bank’s FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) programme in partnership with the state government for elevating cassava farming to a lucrative venture and boost food production.
The farmers under the Ile – Oluji Development Fadama Crops cluster extolled the programme and thanked the state government for its contribution in separate interviews with The Hope during the field visit of Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of Fadama III AF to monitor the ongoing work at the 50 hectares of cassava farm in Ile- Oluji in Ile-Oluji/ Okeigbo Local Government Area.
Coordinator of cluster farm, Oloja of Ayede, Ile- Oluji, Robert Omogbeminiyi said that the FADAMA III AF initiative was the best of all the agricultural projects ever undertaken in the area and appreciated the state government for partaking in it.
He thanked FADAMA for contributing it’s own 50 per cent of the business plan towards the project by supplying improved varieties and farm inputs, chemicals, and training through their partners to the farm at every stage of the cultivation.
“We started last year. We told the king of the town, his royal Majesty, Jegun Olu Ekun, Jimoko II, Oba Julius Adetimehin about our intention, we wrote letter to FADAMA and they gave us the condition that needed to be made. One of which is land availability and the community gave us the land. The plan was divided in to four parts: sensitization( training and capacity building), input supply, land preparation and labour.
The Jegun Olu Ekun of Ile-Oluji, Jimoko II, his royal Majesty, Oba Julius Adetimehin thanked Fadama for their support, saying he took up farming to encourage his followers to go into farming, adding that he will join other stakeholders to propagate agribusiness.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with The Hope, Mrs Margaret Bamigbola, Mrs Oji Fedelia and Mr Kehinde Akinrelere thanked the government for the project, saying initially the were reluctant to participate in the programme but FADAMA opened thier eyes by exposing them to better farming methods.
The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of Fadama III AF lauded the cassava farmers for their collective hard work to ensure success on their farm as part of efforts by the government to boost food production in the state.
One of the members of the PIU and the Environmental officer of Fadama, Mr Bunmi Falodun gave kudos to the beneficiaries for how well they have been managing their farms and resolving the issues of grasshoppers and herdsmen as none of these two factors affected their crops.
He applauded them for weeding the farm regularly and keeping it clean, adding that this factor made the cassava to grow well and thanked the king of the town, Oba Julius Adetimehin, the people, and the groups within the cluster for their cooperation.
The Community Development Officer, Mrs Jumoke Bakare said that the objective of the FADAMA III AF was aimed at increasing the incomes of FADAMA farmers, while assuring them of a good reward when they tend their farms well.