Kogi Agricultural Development Project (ADP) says agricultural extension workers will soon be deployed to rural communities across the state to assist farmers with extension services to boost their productivity.
Mr James Ogunmola, General Manager of the ADP, said this at a meeting of Core Delivery Team (CDT) of the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) in Lokoja on Wednesday.
The meeting was organised by Synergos Nigeria, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
Ogunmola said that the extension workers, who were recently trained, were primed for deployment to various communities to assist the farmers.
According to him, the effort is aimed at supporting farmers to produce more food and cash crops in the state.
“It is to also encourage civil servants to go back to farm, with assurances that they would be supported with extension services.
“’We need to increase the production of food and cash crops, with emphasis on cassava because the market for the crop is available.
“The quantity they (uptakers) are asking us to supply is not readily available; we, therefore, need to plant as much as possible,’’ he said.
Ogunmola, therefore, urged famers to take due advantage of the programme to boost their cassava production, adding that cassava processing factories in the state would be eager to procure their produce.
Also speaking, Mr Thomas Agene, the Secretary of the CDT, said that the government had concluded plans to open up 10,000 hectares of land in the eastern part of the state for cashew cultivation.
Agene, who is an official of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the 10,000 hectares of land would be allocated to 2,500 youths to plant of cashew crops and produce cashew fruits and nuts.
He called on the Kogi State Government to key into the programme by paying its counterpart funds, while appealing to the farmers to partake in the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES).