The European Union and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) have commended Ogun State Government for the financial linkage and support for 3,000 individuals from Ogun State who have grown tomatoes successfully.
These individuals were now producing and selling under the EU/GIZ/FG Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP).
The commendation was made at a strategic retreat between GIZ-NICOP and Ogun State Government for improved Tomato/Chili production in the state, which was held at the Amithon Hall, Bolton White Hotel, Abuja on September 16th, 2021.
The Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), which was launched in Abeokuta by the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun in March 2020, was part of the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme-SEDIN by European Union and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
It could be recalled that at the inception of the programme, the governor Abiodun approved free allocation of land for participants in the tomato/chili project project.
However, at the strategic retreat which was aimed at deepening the ongoing partnership and enhancing coordination between Ogun State and GIZ, stakeholders commended the state government for the feat achieved in NICOP.
Some of the achievements recorded in the project included over 50ha of tomato and pepper farmland allocated to farmers trained under the programme across the 20 LGAs of the state; 73 clusters formed in all the 20 LGAs across the state; 320 million increase of income for beneficiaries.
Also, 144% increase of jobs (38% female); distribution of 100 million improved tomato seeds to Ogun farmers in which farmers in all the 73 clusters benefited; over 500 farmers in Ogun State received tomato seeds free of charge from state government; 36 extension agents and 33 lead farmers trained as master trainers in which training was stepped down to the 2,567 beneficiaries.
In the same vein, 2,567 beneficiaries undergone training on Good Agricultural Practices and Financial Management; over 2,900 instances of trainings delivered (34% female); over 1,400 additional smallholder farmers indirectly benefited; 1,500 farmers presently cultivating improved tomatoes varieties as against the local varieties which was being cultivated before.
20 processors trained on Improved technology in processing, branding and marketing. Over 790 farmers trained in contract farming; 301 farmers successfully linked to credit; 60% Youths and 35% female are new entries into the tomato/chili value chain.
Over 200 farmers trained on solar irrigation system; 76% of farmers confirmed improved knowledge; more than 47% yield increase recorded for smallholder farmers (54% female); 50% increase in yield and 80% increase in income generation recorded. Over seven million funding facilitated to 125 smallholder farmers.
More than 80% of beneficiaries have increased income; more than 84% of beneficiaries have increased turnover; 144% increase of jobs have been recorded (38% female);
Meanwhile, in attendance were the Ogun State Agric team which comprised of the Hon. Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina; Permanent Secretary, Dr. Dotun Sorunke; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Angel Adelaja- Kuye; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr. Siraj Fashola.
Others were Programme Head, Crop Component-Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP), Dr. (Mrs) Modupe Abidemi; Director of Fisheries, Mrs. Victoria Ojelade; Director of Livestock, Mr. Adeyemi Osilalu; Director of Produce, Mr. S.A Adenopo and Director of Tree Crops, Mr. James Oyesola. Also present were representatives from GIZ-SEDIN Programme.