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Gov Makinde suspends revenue collection on agricultural produce

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has declared that his government will move in to subsidise land clearing for farmers across the state with an initial sum of N600 million.

This was made known during a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture Credit Corporation of Oyo State, ACCOS and Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency.

Makinde stated that the farmers are now expected to pay N15,000 instead of N30,000 for land clearing while the government will pay the balance.

He added that the state has disbursed N1 billion to smallholder farmers through the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery, SAER, and declared that the ACCOS loan support to farmers will no longer require a civil servant as guarantor, stating that farm associations will now guarantee their members to have access to the loan.

The governor noted that his administration had done well in trying to support the process of food security, with data showing that the state had made progress in terms of food production.

“In Oyo State, we have been getting data on what we have been producing, which suggests that our production is on the increase but the prices of foodstuff are also increasing.

“As a government, we have also done quite a bit to stimulate and support the process of food security. It is either what we are doing is not enough or they are not being channeled to the right sources.

“So, our meeting here is not a talk-shop but to brainstorm on some issues and bring up solutions. I expect you to open up so we can tackle the problem we have on the ground.

“I have noted some few things from the points you all raised and there are few decisions we are going to take. The first one is the issue of revenue because those in charge are compounding the problem of increment in prices of foodstuff.

“For the next six months, nobody should collect any revenue and all the people involved should know that this takes effect immediately.

“We will provide an initial N600 million through the ACCOS to subsidise the cost of hiring tractors. The modalities of how our smallholder farmers can access this subsidy will be worked out and communicated to them. In total, we plan to subsidise the clearing of at least 120,000 hectares this planting season,” he said.

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