The Ogun State Agro Inputs Dealers Association (OGSAIDA) at her maiden Quarterly Assembly held on the 17th of July, 2021 at Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Federal Secretariat Abeokuta, Ogun State. The Association invited IITA (ACAI Project) as one of her facilitators on ‘Effective handling of Agro inputs chemicals/fertilizers – using AKILIMO’ as part of services rendered by Agro inputs Dealers.
The Assembly also brings in representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of State Security (DSS), National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ogun State chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and many other stakeholders. The importance of involving key stakeholders was to ensure new regulations on inputs use, especially fertilizer. Security of farmers, use of urea by criminals in production of explosives, using AKILIMO to promote farmers’ patronage for herbicides and fertilizers, and identify unregistered Agro Dealers to avoid the sale of fake inputs to farmers.
ACAI Scaling Specialist, Thompson Ogunsanmi, who facilitated the session on effective handling of Agro inputs chemicals/fertilizers, used the printable guides and videos formats of the Best Planting Practices and Weed Management (BPP-WM) of AKILIMO as an example. Also, he emphasized the need for the agro-dealers to see the use of AKILIMO interfaces as part of embedded services an agro dealer can render to farmers to ensure proper handling and improvement in the farming systems of farmers. He said AKILIMO tools are readily available for the agro-dealers to embrace and integrate into their business. He emphasized that over 9,000 farmers now make use of AKILIMO in Ogun State by the project. During the plenary discussions, the agro-dealers agreed to collaborate with ACAI on the use of AKILIMO in their business operations.
Also, the representative of Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture (Dr. Adeola Odedina), who is also the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke told OGSAIDA that they are expected to be extension agents on their own and should never sell agro-inputs if they do not understand their use. As such, members of OGSAIDA are to train farmers on how they can use inputs they are buying. Representatives of DSS and NSCDC, Mr. Samson Ogunrinde and Mr. Dawodu Gabriel suggested that agro-dealers should ensure agro-inputs, most fertilizers are not diverted to other locations when purchased. According to them, this will ensure that fertilizers would not be used for criminal-related activities.
The Chairman of the Association, Mr. Nureni Jinadu said OGSAIDA is ready to embrace these insightful AKILIMO tools as part of services they will be rendering to farmers and, they urged IITA-ACAI to help train all agro-inputs Dealers in Ogun so that AKILIMO becomes part of their embedded services for farmers in their networks. He also appealed to all members of OGSAIDA to heed the professional suggestions provided by DSS and NSCDC.