The Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Bolu Owotomo, on Thursday said that over 350,000 farm families operating in the state will benefit from various Federal Government interventions.
Owotomo disclosed this on Wednesday during a three-day capacity-building training on data management and ICT application for the members of staff of the ministry in Abeokuta.
The commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Samuel Adeogun, declared that the current administration would not be missing out on any intervention aimed at achieving food security.
Speaking on the readiness of the state government to benefit from the recent Federal Government decision to cultivate over 500,000 hectares of land across the country to boost food production, Owotomo said, ‘’The state has captured over 50,000 farmers. It is an ongoing exercise.
“Meanwhile, our farm families, we mean families whose members practice different kinds of farming, are well over 350,000, It is our intention to ensure that within the available resources, nobody is left out in every effort geared towards achieving food security.”
The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utse, declared in November that the Federal Government planned to cultivate 500,000 hectares of irrigable land for dry-season farming to boost food security in the country.
Owotomo explained that the importance of having accurate data and information in the planning and execution of various programmes towards achieving food security could not be overemphasised, hence the need for the three-day training for the agric staff.
He said, “Data runs the world; if you do not have good data, you cannot plan, and if you do not plan, you cannot have good results; when the results are there, you will be able to measure the impact of the activities.”
“Adequate and effective data is very key to us in being able to drive our initiatives in agriculture and strengthening food security. We want to ensure that all relevant departments have what it takes to make available accurate information that are relevant to different interventions of govt to boost agricultural production in the state.”
Also, the Agric Project Manager for Ogun State Economic Transformation Project, Dr Oluseyi Olugbire, the organiser of the training, said that the three-day training would further empower the agric staff to deploy the use of basic ICT tools in their day-to-day operations.