Ondo State Fadama III Additional Financing Project on has said that the programme would encourage more farmers to have interest in cassava production.
Mr Olatunji Olusiji, the state Project Coordinator, made this disclosure at a sensitisation meeting with major cassava stakeholders in Akure.
Olusiji said this development became necessary in view of the glut, which might discourage them from going for further cassava production.
He said that Fadama III, which was the second phase of the programme, would focus mainly on cassava farmers.
According to him, the programme will look critically at the total value chain on cassava, which includes; production, processing and marketing.
“Ondo State is in the forefront to boost cassava production with the implementation of the Fadama III AF and a considerable success has so far been achieved.
NAN reports that only Ondo and 18 other states have participated in the project as at August 2015.
“We have sent to all the state 18 Local Governments on the new programme criteria, by making available at least 200 hectare of land for cassava farming.
According to him, Fadama III AF, which serves as the parent project, is to sustainably increase the income of rural farmers.
The coordinator added that the project would enlighten farmers on how to increase their productivity in cassava production and reduce the cost of production.
Olusiji said the international donor agency paid 85 per cent contribution, which include: the cost of labour, input support, productive asset and environmental mitigation, as well as 15 per cent for beneficiary contributions.
NAN reports that the programme also provides rural financial support through the Nigeria Agricultural Co-operative and Rural Development Bank to develop the advisory and technical service.
Meanwhile, Mr. Akin Olotu, the State Chairman of Agricultural Commodity Association, has lauded the effort of the State Government for reviving and boosting cassava production.
Olotu, however, called for adequate utilisation of tractors, saying that the cost of hiring tractors should go down in order to reduce the cost of production.
“The yield of cassava is terribly low in Nigeria unlike South Africa and Zimbabwe, where farmers turn out 40 tonnes per hectare.
“We are struggling to realise 12 tonnes per hectare here in Nigeria,” he said.
He urged government at various levels to continue to educate farmers on how to improve on their yields. NAN

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