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President, Food Growers Association of Nigeria (FOGAN), Mr Joseph Owolabi, on Monday said the Association would provide grassroot farmers with modern equipment and training on modern farming techniques.
Owolabi, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, said the training would focus on handling of tractors, harvesters and sprayers, among others.
“Our members will be given a conducive environment to plant crops suitable for their environment, through the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science, to achieve a bountiful harvest. We will make provision for silos to store all perishable or non-perishable crops in all the 774 local governments,” he said.
Owolabi said the association would equally initiate measures aimed at preserving and protecting the interest of its members.
“FOGAN is set to bring the overwhelming unemployed youth back to the farm as a business, not just as subsistence farmers, agriculture should be a business, performing like other businesses. FOGAN will also provide fertilizers, insecticide and seedlings at affordable price to members nationwide.
“The association, therefore, is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide sprayers, seedlings, tractors and other equipment at affordable rates,” he said.
Similarly, Owolabi said the association would partner with the Federal, State and Local Governments to bring majority of youths interested in farming to do it as agro-business, while plans were underway by the association to increase its membership from the present three million, to 10 million by the 2022 planting season.
He said that FOGAN would collaborate with traditional rulers in the provision of arable land for its members in their domains.
“It is interesting to note that agro-business is going to be lucrative more than banking and the civil service within our targeted year 2023”, he said, adding, “Subsequently, the association will partner with River Basin Authorities, for any available land and equipment for the use of our members.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making agriculture the main stay of the economy, through CBN support to agriculture.