In a bid to boost food production in the state, the Rural Electrification Agency of the Federal Ministry of Power has presented solar-powered irrigation water pumping equipment to over 200 farmers across Ondo State.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Communication Officer of the Fadama III in the state, Mr Funmilayo Ikueduranmi.
According to the statement, the equipment was presented to the beneficiaries as part 2022 Word Food Day celebration.
The representative of Rural Electrification Agency, who presented the equipment to the farmers, Mr Peter Okopi, said the gesture was to empower the farmers for the purpose of food production.
He explained that the agency conducted desktop and pre-site survey to identify viable irrigation sites for the provision of decentralised solar pumps and centralised mini grids.
He said, “Some of the sites selection criteria included communities with Fadama Users’ Groups with all year round crop production, surface water scheme and sites that require upgrade in electrification infrastructure.”
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Olayato Aribo, in a remark, stressed the need for farmers to adopt the irrigation system of farming in view of the unpredictable climatic condition.
Represented by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Edward Ogunmola, the commissioner advised the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the renewable energy in order to reduce cost of production.
Speaking at the event, the Project Coordinator of FADAMA III in Ondo State, Mr Olusiji Olatunji, revealed that 20 solar-powered irrigation and eight solar-powered electrification facilities were released to the state Fadama Office for free distribution to Fadama Users’ Groups in the state.
He said, with the solar pumping equipment the cost of buying and fuelling mechanical pumping machines would be eliminated.
Olatunji urged beneficiaries to make productive use of the facilities so as to encourage other farmers to adopt the renewable energy sources in carrying out agricultural activities in the state.