The European Union (EU) and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) has commended Ogun State Government for the financial linkage and support for 3,000 individuals from Ogun State who have grown tomatoes successfully and are now producing and selling under the EU/GIZ/Federal Government of Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP).
The commendation was given at a strategic retreat between GIZ-NICOP and Ogun State government for improved tomato/chili production in the state, which was at the Amithon Hall, Bolton White Hotel, Abuja, last week.x
The NICOP project, which was launched in Abeokuta by Governor Dapo Abiodun in March 2020, is part of the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme – SEDIN by the EU and the GIZ. At the inception of the programme, the Governor Abiodun approved free allocation of land for participants in the tomato/chili project.
Some of the achievements recorded in the project include over 50 hectares of tomato and pepper farmland allocated for farmers trained under the programme across the 20 local councils of the state; 73 clusters formed in all the 20 councils; distribution of 100 million improved tomato seeds to farmers, in which farmers in all the 73 clusters benefited; over 500 farmers in the state received tomato seeds free of charge; 36 extension agents and 33 lead farmers were trained as master trainers, in which training was stepped down to the 2,567 beneficiaries;
Also, 2,567 beneficiaries underwent training on Good Agricultural Practices and Financial Management; 1,500 farmers are currently cultivating improved tomatoes varieties as against the local varieties, which was being cultivated before; 20 processors trained on improved technology in processing, branding and marketing; 301 farmers successfully linked to credit; 60 per cent youths and 35 per cent female are new entries into the tomato/chili value chain; and more than 50 per cent increase in yield and 80 per cent increase in income generation recorded.x