Each of the 18 local governments in Edo State are expected to deploy the huge expanse of land in their localities into large scale farming as part of the strategy to diversify the economy of the state and create jobs in the next farming season.
In addition, the PDP state government, if elected in November this year, plans to acquire and locate tractors for ploughing and tilling the land at the respective local government headquarters so that farmers can have easy access to them.
Pastor OsagieIze-Iyamu, the PDP candidate in the September 2016 Edo governorship election, disclosed this weekend when the state chapter of the Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria, CFAN, endorsed him for governor because he is a farmer and will be the first farmer to be elected governor of the state.
Ize-Iyamu who appreciated the farmers for their support said that if elected, his government will reverse the present sad trend where farmers have suffered neglect without any form of incentive under the APC regime in the last seven and a half years.
“Every local government must set up farms. The Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural Development Programme, ADP, and the Tree crop Unit Will be revived. Tractor hiring services will be located at local government headquarters where they will be easily accessed by the farmers at little or no rates”.
The PDP candidate who said, “All over the world it is the duty of government to assist farmers and encourage them to remain in business”, regretted that Edo has since lost its pride of place as the number one state in cassava production due to non-challenge of the outgoing government.
“The cassavita plant at Uromi was 96 percent completed when this government came into office. The idea was for the government to buy all the Cassava produced in the state for processing. Government is a continuum and should take off from where others stopped”.
He then promised to set up factories that will depend on farm produce for raw materials as a way to support, empower and encourage farmers in the state to partner with the government to create jobs and feed the people.
Ize-Iyamu also told the farmers that his agricultural policy was captured in the SIMPLE AGENDA, which he described as an honest and sincere covenant which details, “ what we will do in agriculture and cassava”.
The co-ordinator of the farmers, Lady Maryam Irogba, has earlier rationalised the groups’ endorsement of Pastor Ize-Iyamu on grounds that he is a cassava farmer who understands the challenges facing them.
She, however, said that if elected the group would expect Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s agricultural policy to include preparation of land for farmers before cultivation as well as facilitate mechanised farming of cassava.
In addition, she said her colleagues would expect the PDP government to establish cassava development committees across the state and assist farmers with inputs and incentives.
Over 1000 cassava farmers drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state attended the event.

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