FADAMA III Additional Financing AF, programme says it has approved the allocation of 91 hectares of land to cassava farmers in Ore, Ondo State, in 2016 cropping season. Mr Gbenga Arokoyo, the Rural Institution Development Specialist, National FADAMA Project, Abuja, said this on Thursday, during a monitoring visit to Ajosepo cluster farm in Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area of the state. He said that the gesture was to liberate farmers from poverty and boost agricultural production in the state, adding that the FADAMA III project was particularly aimed at empowering farmers to engage in commercial agriculture. “Actually, we are here for the Mid- Term Review MTR, in Ondo State but with what I saw today, the farmers are doing well. “We are thinking of what else to add, so that it can add value to what they are doing here and help them to derive greater benefits. “In 2016 cropping season, FADAMA III project approved 91 hectares of land for the cultivation of cassava here in Ore. “FADAMA III project is also planning to install a `garri’ processing mill and construct a seven-kilometre feeder road for farmers this year. “And if the road project is approved, fears about how to get out our product out to the market will be a thing of past,” he said. Also speaking, Mrs Jumoke Bakare, Community Development Officer, FADAMA III in Ondo State, said that the state was supporting two cassava value chains and low-land rice production projects. She said that over 50 hectares of land, out of 91 hectares approved in for cassava farming in 2016, were under cultivation. “About 50 hectares of cassava have been planted and 41 hectares have yet to be planted; meanwhile, we have over 200 hectares available here in Ore cluster farm. “We already have 91 farmers in this area but the area can accommodate 200 farmers because the programme was designed for one person per hectare. “So, we have room for many people who have interest in the programme; the second phase of the programme will start immediately after the Easter festival,” she said. Bakare noted that some farmers had benefited from the low land rice production initiative in the state. “Two cluster farms have already harvested their rice — the Ogbese and Awule cluster farms. There were rice harvests in over 62 hectares of farmlands in last year’s cropping season. “We can confidently say that up to 50 per cent of rice consumed in Ondo State is the FADAMA rice that is produced in the state,’’ she said.