The International Fund Agricultural Development (IFAD) has received commendation from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) for helping Nigeria to address issues of agricultural development and poverty alleviation.
Sonny Echono, permanent secretary of the ministry gave the commendation recently when he received a delegation led by Kanayo Nwanze, president of the organisation, in his office. Echono stated that the robust collaboration with IFAD which spanned over 30 years has brought tremendous growth especially in financing of agricultural projects.
Echono, however pleaded with IFAD to increase its loan and grant portfolio to Nigeria to further support agricultural development. He also requested that the organisation engage young, vibrant Nigerian youths in IFAD’s Graduate Internship Programme and Associate programmes.
Echono also said he was optimistic that Nigeria would be able to perform her obligations to IFAD in view of the good relationship, adding that he has briefed Nigeria’s president on the collaboration between FMARD and IFAD.
Nwanze in an earlier remark, expressed satisfaction on the mutual collaboration with FMARD, saying Nigeria has been contributing significantly to IFAD resources.
Nwanze said IFAD has promoted value chains on cassava and rice through value chain development programme, climate change adaptation and agribusiness support programmes and a host of others in Nigeria.
As part of the strategy for 2016-2020, Nwanze said IFAD hoped to continue working in partnership with federal and state governments in the adoption of a market-led approach to give inclusive growth for smallholder farmers, women and youths in Nigeria.
According to the boss, IFAD will continue to promote entrepreneurs in value addition activities, while also helping in strengthening private-sector led input markets in seeds and fertilizers, saying, investment in rural infrastructure for improved market access is also a priority.