The Ogun State Government has assured that it will not relent in its drive to ensure farmers, especially those that are export-driven are adequately sensitised against the use of banned agro-chemicals in the cultivation of exportable crops, so as to boost non-oil exports in the State.
Penpushing reports that Chairman, State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP), Dr. Olu Aikulola made this known during the committee meeting for the third quarter of 2023 held at the Ministry’s Conference Room, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The Chairman who doubles as the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment noted that the use of banned agro-chemicals in the cultivation of crops has been seen by experts as a cause of health and environmental challenges.
Penpushing further reports that he also said it has been seen as a limitation to the efforts of government on boosting non-oil export as such chemicals, and could lead to rejection of goods internationally, resulting in losses and create a bad image for exporters and the country at large.
The committee boss stated that the government would leave no stone unturned in ensuring the enlightenment programme reaches relevant stakeholders, in order to proactively avert the repercussions of the use of banned agro-chemicals.
Penpushing also reports that he charged the Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP) to work out modalities to adequately sensitise farmers through its existing structures across the State,
The Chairman, State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP), stressed that the agency must be deliberate and intentional about the sensitisation programme and show the various action and steps that have been implemented.
‘Synergy is what is needed to achieve success. The NEPC is a federal agency that is here to assist us in boosting non-oil exports and we must also play our part by providing all necessary support for them’, he emphasised.
‘The OGADEP should perfect the plan for the sensitisation campaign and all relevant stakeholders including members of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) need to take advantage of this programme”, Aikulola stated.
Penpushing reports that he spoke on efforts of the State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP), to put the Cashew Processing Machine at Imasayi, Yewa North Local Government Area to good use, towards boosting cashew processing and exportation in the State.
The Chairman said the committee was willing to present the machine to other interested stakeholders like the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), as soon as the Olu of Imasayi, Oba Lukman Kuoye officially communicates to the Ministry on the community’s lack of interest in the use of the cashew processing machine.
Penpushing further reports that he stated that investigation had shown that different cashew farmers in Imasayi were prioritising the sale of unprocessed cashew nuts and were being short-changed as they were entering into agreements with off-takers which prevented them from selling at prevailing prices when their crops were ready for harvest.
The Chairman thereafter inaugurated the Coordinating Committee on the One State One Product (OSOP), comprising the Political Head of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chairman of , State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP), Sub-Committee Chairmen, Secretary of the, State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP), and the NEPC State Coordinator.
Penpushing also reports that the State Coordinator,Nigeria Export Promotion Committee(NEPC), Mrs. Francisca Odega, speaking on One State One Product (OSOP), said the programme would turn comparative advantages in the State into a competitive advantage, add value to products and help exporters generate more funds.
The Programme Officer, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Mr. Olatunji Ogidan, reacting to the exploitation of cashew nut farmers at Imasayi said the agency was willing to assist the farmers in entering into beneficial off-taker agreement, as well as link them with the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank, to enable them access credit at one percent interest rate.
Penpushing reports that the meeting was attended by relevant stakeholders involved in the export business including former Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. John Isemede among others
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