The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) says it has distributed no fewer than 50 tonnes of maize to farmers in Oyo State in the last three weeks.
The FMARD Coordinator in the state, Dr Kakulu Omonele, disclosed in Ibadan on Wednesday that the distribution was part of Federal Government’s efforts to help farmers.
The federal ministry official told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that certified maize seeds were given to the concerned farmers for free.
“In Oyo state, the quality of certified maize seeds we have distributed to farmers in the last three weeks is over 50 tonnes, and the maize seeds are packed in bags of 20 kilogrammes each.
“The way we do it is that we reach out to commodity associations. We have registered associations for each commodity.
”Like in the case of maize, we reached out to maize associations, cooperatives and corporate farmers.
“We also reached out to individual farmers, because not all farmers are members of the association,” Omonele said.
She added that the ministry also gave out seeds to about 500 rice farmers in the state.
The FMARD coordinator said the number of farmers who benefited from the maize seeds was more than those who profited from rice because more farmers are planting maize.
She said the FMARD in Oyo state was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that certified seeds got to farmers at the appropriate time to ensure food security in the country.
Omonele further said the ministry also trains and re-trains farmers regularly so they can understand the appropriate seeds and times to plant.
“Within few days we have trained a large number of farmers, about 100 of them, on how to adequately plant cassava, yam, cowpea, among others, through a specialised department of the ministry,’’ she said.