IN the last three years, a total of N215.4 million has been spent by the Ondo State government to boost dry season farming under the Fadama III programme, which was anchored on community driven development that gives ownership of resources and control to the farmers.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko disclosed at the weekend when he presented a cheque of N75.6 million to another set of beneficiaries in Akure, the state capital.
Mimiko said the programme had impacted positively on the capacity of the state to produce food even during the dry season.
The governor, who also launched the Fadama Youth Empowerment Scheme at the occasion, added that his government had made available N174 million counterpart funds for the initiative to draw the youths to off-season farming.
Mimiko, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Dr. Kola Ademujimi, said residents of the state had no business with poverty in view of the Caring Heart Programme of the administration.
He said the establishment of three agricultural villages at Ore, Auga-Akoko and Epe by the administration was aimed at re-positioning the agricultural policy framework, productivity and implementation and to raise a new generation of farmers.
The governor said that the Fadama III had led to the success of the programme in the state.
Mimiko pledged that the administration would continue to support the scheme to serve the people better, adding that the wealth creation agency had trained, employed and empowered hundreds of youths in the state’s agricultural cities.
Over 3,000 youths, Mimiko said had been mobilised for the Fadama Youths Empowerment Scheme with 65 youths effectively engaged at Isanlu Fadama Village in Akure North Local Council under the pilot scheme.
He assured that government would assist in the establishment of Fadama youth villages in more local councils.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Ademola Olorunfemi, commended the governor for ensuring prompt payment of state counterpart funds, which had made farmers in the state to benefit from the fund.