Kwara set-up 12 man committee for Agricultural Development Scheme
by SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin
November 8, 2017 | 12:07 am| | | Start Conversation
The Kwara State government in preparation to pilot the much awaited Federal Government’s Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), has constituted a 12-man committee for the project management.
The project where 10,000 Kwara youths are targeted to benefit from the production of rice, maize and soybeans, come next farming season, will also aid economic growth of the state.
The committee will be chaired by Bamidele Adegoke, the state commissioner for agriculture and natural resources. Other members includes, Anu Ibiwoye, special adviser on agric, Saka Babatunde, SSA-Youth Empowerment, Simeon Opowoye, perm. secretary, Ministry of Agric, M.F Owolabi, MD- Kwara ADP, and Segun Soewu, CEO, Kwara Bureau of MSME.
Others are; Dirisu Shiaka, head, Development Finance Office, CBN, Adelusi M.O from Bank of Agriculture, Dare, a director from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Gabriel Adeyemo, national directorate of employment and a representative each from the duo of Rice and Maize Farmers Associations, kwara state chapters.
Speaking at the inauguration in Ilorin, Bamidele Adegoke, the state commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, charged members of the team to work assiduously in achieving the set objectives, adding that, “the scheme is intended to further promote food security through an increased agricultural production; create employment for the teeming youths and assist the economy.”
As contained in a statement signed by Moshood Agboola Abdulrafiu, the MANR press secretary, the commissioner pointed out that, “among the criteria for eligibility was to be a youth, between age 18 and 35, possession of valid Bank Verification Number (BVN), being a member of registered cooperative society and not being an existing beneficiary of similar programmes either at federal or state level”.
Adegoke however assured that the State government was ready to play its part by providing land and needed infrastructure among other support to facilitate the operation.
While acknowledging the investment support to be provided by the CBN and essential role of loan disbursement by the BoA, the Commissioner maintained that this created funding window for commercial agriculture was best alternative to strengthening the agricultural sector.
He therefore enjoined the youths of the said age category to turn out en masse for this empowerment opportunity, adding that their participation would be viable weapon for self-sufficiency.
In his submission, Dirisu Shiaka, head, Development Finance Office at CBN, explained that the loan is with 9 percent interest rate and 12 months tenure of repayment for crops like maize, rice and soya beans.
He disclosed that, the Cluster Management Team (CMTs) will comprise of the local government chairmen and supervisory councillors on agriculture that would soon be established at each cluster for the purpose of involving youths at grass root, just as he stressed that necessary mechanism has been worked out to guide against default or diversion of the fund.
SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin
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