A non-governmental organization, The Oxford Green Farms Group (TOGFG), says it is mobilising to empower farmers in Nigeria to boost the country’s food production amidst rising prices of consumables and unsafe farmlands occasioned by insecurity.
The chief executive officer, Dr. Goodluck Olatunde Precious who made this known at the launch of the ‘Agrolyfe’ initiative in Abuja at the weekend, said the initiative is an entrepreneurship agricultural scheme designed to encourage youths to see farming as an adventure.
He said the group would make provision for the land, amenities and funding, and they have also signed some agreements with some financial homes to support every farmer that wants to come on board, just as the group is also looking to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Bank of Nigeria soon.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the launch, Dr. Mariam Animashaun, the group managing director, TOGFG, said female farmers would be carried along as the group was already collaborating with the Ministry of Women Affairs.
“As we all know, women have a nurturing spirit, and they are at the forefront when it comes to food distribution. 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 returning to their fields amidst growing insecurity, she blamed poverty for the prevalent insecurity in the country, saying, “If people have a genuine means of livelihood, nobody will go into crime”.
The group’s head of marketing, Martins Omotosho, said the focus was on granting farmers free and easy access to farmlands, which would reduce food prices.
“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 was 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.