The Ogun State Economic Transformation Project, in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, has launched an integrated digital support platform, the Ogun State Farmer Information Management System, to offer a one-stop resource to farmers and other value chain actors in the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, while speaking during the launch on Saturday in Abeokuta, noted that the initiative was an effort to unleash the full potential of the agricultural sector and ensure that farmers are linked to agrarian opportunities for better productivity.
Odedina added that the digital agricultural initiative fits perfectly into the agricultural agenda of the state to support small-holder farmers, enhance food security, nutrition security, and job creation and link manufacturers to the agricultural process.
He said through a strategic partnership with the private sector and intentional collaboration with all agencies that have the mandate and resources to support agriculture, the state government has been deliberately inclusive to ensure that smallholder farmers are not cut off from the opportunities created to drive sustainable supply to industries.
“We want to make Ogun State the centre of agricultural excellence, so our smallholder farmers can benefit from opportunities in programmes that will strengthen the value chain and this can only be done if data is available. That is what OGFIMS is aiming at,” Odedina said.
On his part, the Commissioner of Budget and Planning, Mr Olaolu Olabimtan, commended the initiative, adding that the government was interested in new ideas that would enhance the agricultural potential of the state.
Olabimtan said that OGFIMS would add value to the state’s agricultural roadmap as it would enhance linking stakeholders to opportunities and updating them with information on agricultural best practices.
In her goodwill message, the Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture, Dr Angel Adelaja-Kuye, posited that the digital platform would serve as a database and repository of information and knowledge.
Adelaja-Kuye added that the platform would keep farmers better informed of new agricultural policies, events, training and business opportunities.
Also speaking, the OGSTEP Taskforce Team Lead from World Bank, Abel Lufafa, emphasised the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure the success of OGFIMS, noting that accessing farmers for future development would demand a lot of information.
In his address, the lead project consultant, OGFIMS, and lead GermPlasm Health unit, IITA, Dr Lava Kumar, explained that the digital platform was a one-stop resource for information, communication, coordination, registration of farmers and value chain actors.
He added that the digital platform would help in Mapping, advisory, e-marketing and other applications to further improve the agriculture and agric business sector in the state.