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All is now set for the distribution of subsidized polyclonal cashew seedlings to cashew farmers by the Ekiti State Government through its Ministry of Agriculture as part of efforts to increase productivity and access to markets.

Ekiti News reports that the scheme is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA.

Ebenezer Boluwade, Commissioner for Agriculture, who disclosed this in Ado Ekiti, explained that the scheme is aimed at boosting the trade of cashew by improving harvest and post-harvest techniques and supporting supply chain linkages between farmers and programme companies under the five-year PRO-Cashew USDA-funded development programme.

The Commissioner stated that the PRO-Cashew project started in 2020 and It will, over five years, support cashew farmers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria to improve productivity and access to markets.

He added that Ekiti State became the first sub-national in Nigeria to establish a polyclonal cashew and scion garden at Erifun in Ado Ekiti in June 2023.

The Commissioner emphasized Oyebanji’s administration’s dedication to ensuring the state’s sustainability in polyclonal cashew seedling production following the conclusion of the USDA intervention and that the focus is on utilizing research and development to elevate the state to one of the leading cashew-producing states in the coming years.

Highlighting the advantages of polyclonal seedlings, which mature quicker and exhibit greater resilience compared to seed-propagated ones, Boluwade reassured that the state government will subsidize the seedlings by 50 percent to encourage and support farmers across the state.

The Commissioner advised interested farmers to contact the Tree Crops Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to benefit from the scheme, adding that beneficiaries’ farms must be within Ekiti State and owners must be able to provide reliable details about their farms for after-sales services to achieve the desired goals.

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