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Group moves to empower farmers to boost Nigeria’s food production

By Emmanuel Obisue

Group under the platform of The Oxford Green Farms Group (TOGFG), says it is mobilizing to empower farmers in Nigeria to boost the country’s food production amidst rising prices of consumables and unsafe farmlands occasioned by insecurity.

Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at the launch of the ‘Agrolyfe’ initiative, Dr Goodluck Olatunde Precious, Chief Executive Officer, TOGFG, said the initiative is an entrepreneurship agricultural scheme designed to encourage youth to see farming as an adventure.

He said the group will “make provision for the land, amenities and funding,” adding that they have also “signed some agreements with some financial homes to support every farmer that wants to come on board,” and that the group is also looking “to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Bank of Nigeria soon”.

Speaking to journalists at the sidelines of the launch, Dr Mariam Animashaun, Group Managing Director, TOGFG, stressed that women farmers will be carried along, as the group is already collaborating with the Ministry of Women Affairs. “Like we all know, women have a nurturing spirit, and they are at the forefront when it comes to food distribution,” she said.

“Nigeria is super blessed. We have the soil, the farmland, and the population advantage. We want to make it lucrative and fun and engage the youths more,” she added.

Speaking on the fear of farmers to return to their fields amidst growing insecurity, she blamed poverty for the prevalent insecurity in the country. “If people have a genuine means of livelihood, nobody will go into crime”.

The group’s Head of Marketing, Martins Omotosho, explained further that the focus is on granting farmers free and easy access to farmlands, which will enable food prices in Nigeria to come down.

“We have considered the security condition of the nation; we have weighed the security situation of the places in which we have our farms. We have arranged both government and private security for farmers,” he noted.

He said the group is targeting 50 farmers for the kick-off phase, and that the farmers would be able to access the initiative through a cooperative society arrangement, where they would also be able to access loans.

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