As part of its mandate to support rice and cassava value chains for smallholder farmers, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the facilitator of the Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP), has distributed different inputs to farmer groups in Nasarawa State.
With the inputs, benefiting farmers, drawn from Doma, Karu, Lafia, Nasarawa and Wamba areas of the state, are expected to rejig their agricultural activities, boost food production and improve livelihoods.
The inputs distributed included 92 irrigation pumps, 40 solar-powered knapsack sprayers, eight tricycles, a power-tiller and a set of improved stainless steel rice steam par boilers.
Others are eight garri processing equipment, including grinding machines, communal fryers, hydraulic pressers, and cassava chipping machines.
Speaking at the distribution of the items in Lafia, Abubakar Dan’akano, the commissioner for agriculture, applauded the VCDP for bridging the gaps in the agricultural sector.
The commissioner, represented by Solomon Ubundaga, director, agriculture engineering services in the ministry, also commended VCDP for improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the state.
“As far as agriculture is concerned, VCDP is standing in the gap of agriculture production in the state.
“The farming inputs being offered to the farmers is an indication that VCDP is working in line with the state government agricultural policy,” he said.
He commended farmers for justifying the trust and urged them to pay attention to every detail. He also lauded the efforts of VCDP for empowering farmers in the state.
Eunice Adgidzi, the project coordinator, IFAD-VCDP, said that VCDP was involved because of the farmers.
According to Adgidzi, “Why VCDP is on board is because of our farmers who are keeping track of our mandate”, hence the focus on farmers to improve the value chains of rice and cassava.