The Kwara State government through the ministry of agriculture and rural development has pledged to support Ibolo Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture ( ICCIMA ) to proffer solutions to challenges facing the chamber.
This was disclosed in a zoom meeting with the Kwara State Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Shaba Yisa Gideon.
The meeting which was held on 2nd of November 2021 channeled a proposal to the office of the Honorable Commissioner for possible action.
Some of the challenges mentioned are agro wastages and preparation machinery, lack of transportation, lack of access to improved seeds, chemicals and fertilizer, lack of access to funding in order to maximize planting and harvesting cycle, irrigation problem, lack of extension services which will bring regular engagement with the community, training and extension services among others
The President of ICCIMA, Mr. Paul Olagunju after analyzing the challenges facing agriculture in Ibolo land proposed that the ministry should establish AgroBusiness hub at two locations in Ibolo for processing and packaging of foods such as Gari, yam flour, starch. He also said there is need for Commercial fish farm that will position Kwara state for both local consumption and export of fish.
Speaking further, the President equally proposed for the need to create cashew and cocoa processing facility
inludung construction of feeder roads from major towns to link the various farming communities.
He urged the Kwara State government to establish farm produce market to improve the economic activities in the area; introduce modern technology to drive productivity in agribusiness activities; establish agric fairs to take place twice a year, namely pre- planting and post-harvest season which will bring all the stakeholders together and will be a veritable platform for interactions and exchange of ideas.
Mr. Bashir Lawal in his contribution tasked government to intensify effort by providing farm machinery and improve on the level of providing security for the farmers.
While Mr. Wole Alawode charged Kwara Government on adding more value to agro processing in terms of farm machinery. He urged the government to facilitate access to agricultural machinery for agricultural business to strive.
The commissioner in his response said all the challenges of ICCIMA have been noted for government’s intervention. He acknowledged the chamber for taking up the task to improve food production and helping farmers at the grassroots. He added that current administration led by Mallam. Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq have been up and doing in the area of agriculture and food production.
Hon. Gideon reiterated that the state government has magnanimously shared fertilizer, farm crops and seeds to farmers to boost farming system. He said Kwara State government is already working on international market where farmers can bring their products and give room for buyers and sellers to interact. He added that the Chamber leaders would be carried along in the next tranche of disbursement of the farm tools.
Speaking on security challenges facing farmers, the commissioner said the State Government had met with herdsmen leaders to sound note of warning to them as regards to their cows destroying farmlands across the state. He added that the government in a banquet hall meeting with herders had informed their leaders to control their subject against destroying farmlands which is the means of livelihood for farmers in the state.
He therefore noted that the agricultural industry in the state that had long been abandoned have been resuscitated by the present administration.
Mr. Ajani Bolakale Waidi in a closing remark thanked the Honorable Commissioner for taking time to attend the meeting and for taking note of the challenges facing agricultural business in Ibolo land for further building of economic unity as well as advocate for better business environment in Kwara State and the nation at large.
Ibolo communities which include the towns of Offa, Erin Ile, Ijagbo, Ira, Ipee, Ilemona, Ojoku, Igosun, Igbawere, Igbonna, Inaja and Ikotun came together to establish the Ibolo Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) with a belief of harnessing natural endowment for investment purpose as well as fast track Ibolo land to become business hub.