How Ekiti farmers can enjoy 50% subsidy on cash crop seedlings

By John Odunayo

Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji has approved 50 per cent subsidy on oil palm, cocoa and cashew seedlings to be distributed to farmers in the state this planting season.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Ebenezer Boluwade, said in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday that interested farmers in the state should reach out to the Tree Crops Department of the Ministry on the development to benefit in the gesture.

Boluwade said it was part of efforts to rejuvenate and scale up tree crops production in the state.

The commissioner said, “The move is part of strategic steps by the Oyebanji administration to create employment and wealth. It is also targeted at returning Ekiti State to the golden era of the 1970s when the state was reputed globally as one of the leading cocoa producing centres in Nigeria”.

He said, “The scheme is intended to bring back the glorious years by replacing aged trees in old plantations and those lost to bush burning with improved seedlings with short gestation period while efforts are also on to inject willing young committed farmers into cocoa plantation farming”.

Boluwade urged all legacy farmers and new ones to key into the scheme and benefit from the programme, noting that government would also support the farmers with agrochemicals to prevent fungi diseases, pests and ultimately improve yield.

He said that global cocoa business was booming in the international market as prices of the commodity has climbed on the international market to $10,000 per metric tonne.

Recall that Ekiti State Government last year created a scheme through which smallholder farmers were provided with improved seeds and seedlings, with 50 per cent subsidy, for maximum production.

Boluwade, who had that time called on farmers in the state to take advantage of the scheme to enrich themselves and the state by extension, said that the Oyebanji administration was committed to unveiling the state’s agricultural potentials for economic viability.

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