The International Fund for Agricultural Development – Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP) on Monday began the distribution of agricultural inputs to 205 rice and cassava farmers in Kogi to support wet season farming in the state.
Fatima Aliyu, national director, FGN/IFAD-VCDP while speaking at the flag off at Agricultural Development Project (ADP) said the objective was to enhance the income and food security of rural poor smallholder households in the participating states and local government areas in a sustainable manner.
Aliyu added that the VEEP programme since inception had supported beneficiaries in kogi in the areas of training capacity building, infrastructure, and input disturbing.
Represented by Must Dalling from National IFAD-VCDP Office pointed out that today’s event was to support farmers with inputs, such as certified rice seeds, fertiliser, herbicides, improved cassava stems to enable them participate fully in this wet season farming.
“The program in Kogi for 2023 cropping season will support 205 rural farmers comprising 120 male and 85 female, with a total of 278 hectares for both rice and cassava farmers”.
“The items to be distributed are 7,150 bundles on improved cassava stems, 137 bags of Faro 44 rice seeds, 1,120 bags of NPK and 330 bags of Urea fertilizer, and selective and non-selective herbicides”.
She encouraged the farmers to get their farms insured under the collaborative efforts of IFAD-VCDP with Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC)., stressing that the insurance would help to cushion the effects of the losses and plough such farmers back to production in the next cropping season.
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The NPC commended Gov. Yahaya Bello, for his tremendous support and goodwill, saying Kogi has made them proud severally as far as project implementation is concerned.
She urged the governor to sustain and improve the state government’s support for the project so as to deliver the programme’s benefits to Kogi people.
She equally commended the efforts of Stella Adejoh, the state programme coordinator IFAD-VCDP, and her team for demonstrating great passion for the rural farmers.
However , she appealed to the beneficiaries to make the best use of the inputs to enable the programme achieved its development objectives of poverty reduction, and enhancing food and nutrition security of the poor rural households in Kogi and Nigeria at large.
Lami Lawal, permanent secretary, Kogi Ministry of Agriculture, who flagged off the distribution, congratulated the farmers for making the state proud by working hard in always implementing the programmes
She thanked the governor for seeing the need to key into the VCDP Programmes, while commending the Federal Government for giving Kogi recognition among those benefiting States.
In her remarks, Stella Adejoh, the state programme coordinator (SPC), said the IFAD-VCDP is enhancing rice and cassava value chains for sustainable agricultural transformation, adding that the wet season inputs distribution was part of IFAD-VCDP intervention programmes to cushion the effects of flood and fuel subsidy removal in order to improve the wellbeing of rural farmers.
She commended the farmers for being very cooperative over time, and urged them and newly enrolled benefiting farmers to utilise the inputs to improve their livelihood and the economy of the state.
The SPC thanked the Governor for giving the programme the necessary supports and for creating the enabling environment, while appreciating the Managing Director of Kogi ADP for his unprecedented support to the success of the programme.
George Ogirima, managing director, Kogi ADP, thanked the governor for putting Agriculture on the front burner of his activities under his administration, as he assured that the ADP would not relent in its effort to continue to support the programme through its extension workers and other necessary support.
Shekinat Abdullahi, Kassim Mohammed and Muhammed Aliyu, on behalf of the beneficiaries expressed their happiness over the inputs, and thanked VCDP and government for the gesture.
They noted that the support would improve their wellbeing, as they promised to use the inputs judiciously in order to achieve the IFAD/VCDP objectives to boosting value chain production for maximum yield and ensuring food security in Kogi and in Nigeria as a whole.