The Food and Agriculture OrganiSation of the United Nations (FAO) is partnering with the Ondo government to support the state with more initiatives to boost food production, promote and sustain agriculture value chain.
Mr Fred Kafeero, FAO Representative in Nigeria made this known in a statement by Mr David Tsokar, Communications Specialist, FAO Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.Speaking while on courtesy call to the Ondo state Deputy Governor, Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, Mr Kafeero, who is also FAO Representative to the Economic Organisation of the West African States (ECOWAS), said the vision was to transform agriculture in the state.He said that agriculture could be transformed ”by lifting the status of the sector from where it is today to the right trajectory, thence the need to seek collaboration with reliable and competent partners.”
FAO is a specialised technical agency of the UN with mandate to provide technical assistance in all aspects of food and agriculture,” Kafeero said.He reiterated the readiness of FAO to collaborate with the Ondo state considering the vast agriculture potentials existing in the state, waiting to be fully harnessed for the improvement of livelihood through sustainable development.
The FAO representative said that developing agriculture value chains provided the much desired push for economic growth, employment and increased incomes to households, and therefore called for wider partnerships.Kafeero also proposed stronger collaboration of the state with more UN agencies, private sector and civil society organisations.He urged the state to take advantage of a global flagship partnership programme undertaken by FAO and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), called 3ADI+ (Accelerator for Agriculture and Agroindustry Development and Innovation).“When we bring our technical expertise together, then we are able to attract other financing institutions to be able to work on particular value chains; we know cocoa is key in Ondo state,” he stated.Responding, the Deputy Governor Aiyedatiwa, according to the statement, said agriculture was one of the major drivers of the present administration in the state. “
Ondo is the highest producer of Cocoa in the country; we would like to get support on accessing funding for agriculture, sericulture, investment in large scale ranching.”We are ready to provide the land, support in irrigation, aquaculture – floating fish rearing system, forest management, among others,” he said. Aiyedatiwa said the state-owned poultry hatchery had become moribund, thus investment advice, technical support and private sector investment were needed to revive the facility.He, however, urged FAO to fast-track the implementation of the second phase of FAO’s technical assistance to the state on the pilot feedlot cattle fattening systems.“ There is need to save the breed of the cattle (Muturu) indigenous to humid forest zones of the state from going extinct,” he said. (NAN)