• Monday, May 20, 2024
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World Bank, Cross River disburse N157m grants to 9 commercial farmers


The World Bank and the Cross River State government, through the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP), have presented cheques worth N157, 268,647.93 million to nine farmers who have met the criteria for disbursement.

The chosen farmers consist of five commercial oil palm farmers and four commercial cocoa farmers, which is the first phase of the 5-3-3-5 initiative in Cross River State. The Commercial Agriculture Development project is Federal Government/World Bank assisted project. It commenced in 2009 to help participating small and medium scale commercial farmers improve technology, infrastructure, finance and output markets. It is currently being implemented in five participating states in Nigeria – Kaduna and Kano in the North, Lagos, Enugu and Cross River in the South. In Cross River State, the project targets and provides support for three value chains namely: cocoa, oil palm and rice.

James Aniyom, the state’s commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, said at the disbursement that the project in the state had made tremendous achievements since its inception in 2005, to include sensitisation and registration of 329 commodity interest groups (CIGS), which constitutes about 5,604 commercial farmers ,1,773 in oil palms farmers, and 1,818 rice farmers in the state.

He said a total sum of N295,828,494.24 million has been disbursed as grants to 141 community interest Groups (CIGS) which he said is 59 percent of the total amount earmarked for farmers in the state. Aniyom said the Cross River CADP has been able to access only 59 percent of the total $26.34 million earmarked by the World Bank to the state. He also said the Cross River state government contributes N168m yearly to the project as counterpart fund.

Speaking at the disbursement Governor Liyel Imoke who was represented by his Deputy Effiok Cobham thanked the World Bank for using the CADP in the commercialisation of agricultural production in Nigeria. “He said CADP is helping Nigeria in its strategy of diversifying the economy from the present dependence on oil and gas to a more sustainable path, which is to become a net food exporter.”.Efiok said the project has two components which include Agricultural production and commercialisation as well as rural Infrastructure.