About 2,000 farmers in the State of Osun will benefit from the partnership of the state government, AFEX Exchange Limited and the Central Bank of Nigeria for the 2021 Cocoa Planting season.
The farmers, drawn from the local government areas of the state, will derive from the improved seedlings, access to credit facilities, regular trainings on how to further improve the quality of produce as well as the required certification to maximise profit.
Speaking on the collaboration, the Deputy Governor of Osun, Mr Benedict Alabi who flagged off the planting season on behalf of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola noted that the partnership will further boost the economic potentials of the state.
“We have the land and the necessary requirements. Our farmers have been sensitised and trained to join our Cocoa scheme. We desire to use this to encourage our Youths in the state.
“To this end, we are set to empower 2,000 farmers in the state especially in Cocoa production to make our state the lead in Cocoa production in Nigeria.
“The government is ready to partner with such organisations and as such is happy with what AFEX and the CBN is doing. It is something of joy to us and we are always ready to collaborate,” the Deputy Governor stated.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of AFEX, Mr Ayodeji Balogun said the company is poised towards boosting the value chain of cocoa production in the country in a bid to optimise opportunities for all stakeholders.
Speaking further, he said “We are trying to make sure that by next year, we are going to see if we can raise it to over 10,000 farmers who will be able 2 access inputs, benefit from the partnership with us & so on.”
“AFEX started in the last 5 years and currently works with over 200,000 farmers in 18 states. We are not only into produce buying but strategic in finding ways to help the farmers.”
The representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Adebayo expressed the readiness of the C.B.N to join hands with AFEX to make the programme hitch free.
“I can assure you that the CBN and AFEX in conjunction with the State Government of Osun is ready to help the farmers. We are poised to support the farmers through Development Finance. We understand finance is the problem of Farmers and Small Scale Industries. This is the main reason why we are here to lend our support especially now that the farming season is commencing.”
“To whom much is given, much is expected. If we reciprocate this, more opportunities and doors will open from this. We are ever ready to support you. By the grace of God, the 2021 planting season will be a success,” Mrs Adebayo posited.
Farmers at the event applauded the initiatives of AFEX and the CBN as well as the state government of Osun boost Cocoa production in the state and in-turn, improve their businesses.