FGN/IFAD distribution of N46.03 million in agricultural support

FGN/IFAD distribution of N46.03 million in agricultural support

The distribution of N46.03 million in agricultural support inputs to 100 rice farmers in Benue for the 2023–2024 dry season has begun, according to the Federal Government of Nigeria/International Fund for Agricultural Development, FGN/IFAD, Value Chain Development Program, VCDP.

During the flag-off weekend in Makurdi, Dr. Fatima Aliyu, the National Programme Coordinator (NPC) of the FGN/IFAD-VCDP, said that the program had drastically transformed the lives of the rural farmers who were receiving assistance nationwide.

The NPC stated that the “VCDP under the Programme component 2 (Smallholder Productivity Development) is supporting farmers by increasing their yields on an economically and environmentally sustainable basis,” through the representative of the Information Management and Communication Guide, Mrs. Vera Onyeaka-Onyilo.

According to her, the program “encourages sustainable agricultural practices, certifies rice seeds, and distributes improved cassava cuttings to support smallholder production.” In keeping with this, the VCDP has started providing farmers in its nine member states with agricultural inputs for the 2023–2024 dry season farming.

“We are pushing dry season farming and encouraging farmers to grow more than one cycle in a year to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers. According to our farmers’ testimony, the rise in production for dry season farming has also been noteworthy.

According to her, “for the dry cropping season of 2024, a total of N46.030 million will be spent on solar water pumps, agrochemicals, improved cassava stem cuttings, certified rice seeds, urea, and NPK fertilizers for 10 Farmers Organizations, totaling 100 farmers in Benue State.”

She stated that the initiative has helped recipients in Benue state with infrastructure, input distribution, and train and capa, city building since it started in 2015. Additionally, the initiative has helped women and adolescents develop a variety of skills and launch their businesses throughout the two value chains through the Rural adolescents Enterprise Model, or RYEM. The initiative now supports young and female entrepreneurs who are both employers of labor in their communities and gainfully independent contractors.

Recalling the disastrous impact of climate change, as well as Benue’s vulnerability to flood incidents and farmer losses, Dr. Aliyu stated that the program was working with the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) and other private insurance providers, and he encouraged the state’s farmers to insure their farms to protect against losses brought on by such disasters.

“Make the best use of this support to enable us to achieve food security, poverty reduction, food systems transformation, and improved incomes and livelihood of our poor rural households in Benue state and Nigeria,” she said, praising the Governor Hyacinth Alia-led administration for providing the program’s matching funds.

The lowest-hanging fruit for growing the Benue economy is agriculture, according to Prof. Moses Ogbaji, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, “which is why it is a top priority for the Governor Alia administration.”

“To improve the lives of the people and increase agricultural production, the government has paid a counterpart fund of N350 million out of N700 million, and the remaining amount will be paid shortly.”

Prof. Ogbaji thanked the Federal Government, IFAD, and the State Programme Coordinator, SPC, for their assistance in making the program successful in the state. He also advised the beneficiaries not to sell the inputs because doing so would increase their yield.

Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum, the SPC, expressed his appreciation to Governor Alia for fostering an environment that is supportive of the program and for releasing the government’s matching contribution. He stated, “Our goal is to empower these farmers to maximize their yields and improve their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, thereby creating wealth in the state.”

“We are also seriously appealing for further the role of government towards the timely return of our farmers that are currently in IDP camps to their homelands so that they can also benefit from this program in subsequent periods,” the SPC said, praising the Agric Commissioner and the Director General of the Benue Planning Commission

“for their tireless efforts towards ensuring that our program activities are effectively implemented according to her mandate.” This support is invaluable in ensuring the success of the FGN/IFAD-VCDP in our great state.

Additionally, the state’s farmers had their lives completely changed by the program, according to Mr. Chia Tarkende, Chairman of the Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF), who urged the government to maintain peace in the state to increase productivity by guaranteeing that the recipients would use the inputs wisely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button