The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) Limited, Dr. Mohammed Santuraki has underscored the importance of the small holder farmer to the nation’s food security.
The BOA Chief made this assertion during the flag-off ceremony of the BOA/Osun State N500 million collaborative loan scheme to farmers in the state.
Stressing the importance of the small holder farmers and the need for the provision of adequate support for them by all stakeholders, Dr. Santuraki observed that 90 percent of national food production is by small holder farmers, and that small holder farmers are also important in the global food security equation. He added that commercial strengthening of small holder farmers is a viable strategy for addressing national food security.
Commenting on the BOA/Osun State collaboration, the BOA helmsman commended the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for his commitment to the development of the grassroots, while describing agriculture as the ultimate panacea to the present widespread unemployment and the resultant poverty in the nation. He noted that this is the fourth collaboration the Bank is entering into with the State, and that all the past ones have been successful.
The BOA Chief congratulated the Osun State government for its efforts in linking farmers to the markets, adding that in view of the State Government various efforts in agriculture and rural development, the State would be an excellent candidate for the siting of a Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) which is part of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
In his response, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Executive Governor of Osun State expressed his gratitude to the Management of the BOA for the sustained support to the State. He promised that the next phase of the collaboration will be N2 billion, noting that the State requires at least N2.5 billion for the 2012 farming season.
Governor Aregbesola expressed the belief that agriculture holds the key to the nation’s agricultural emancipation, while pledging his team’s commitment to plunge Osun State in the forefront of the nation’s agricultural development.
M. N. KOLO
Head, Corporate Planning Dept.