IFAD, VCDP will empower farmers in rice farming in Benue State

The unstable economy of Nigeria, economy recession in the country and the federal and state government has pledges to help and support farmers in the country for the diversification of economy towards farming.

Also, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has pledged their support to Benue state government and rice farmers enlisted on its programme, to enable them overcome the harsh effects of the prevailing economic recession in the country.

International Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentDr. Amen Onoja, the National Programme Coordinator (NPC) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), was represented by Chyka Unamma, the Agriculture Production Advisor (APA) made this disclosure at the flag off of distribution of inputs to rice farmers at Gborir, in Benue state.

Chika Unamma commended the Benue state government for being the first in the six states benefiting from its intervention, to flag off inputs distribution.

Chika Unamma further stated as follows, “That is why we will continue to avail you good agronomy practices to help you achieve your projections especially given the support the state government and Olam have accorded the programme in the state.”

Also at the flag off of the event the Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum, State Project Coordinator of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), applauded the Benue state government and Governor David Ortom for giving priority and support to the programme by being up to date with the payment of its counterpart fund.

Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum also reiterates that, “This has actually given greater impetus to the programme and it will also motivate our farmers to attain our projections for this farming season.”

Speaking also at the event, Mr. Michael Abuku, the Administrative Manager of Olam thanked the laudable initiative of his firm’s partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) further disclosed the reward of N50,000 to each of the best performing farming groups in Benue state.

Mr. Michael Abuku states as follows, “We will continue to reward and assist hard working rice farmers in Benue state attain their full potentials and by so doing boost food production in the state and country.” He stated.

While concluding the event, Mr. James Anbua, the Benue State Commissioner of Agriculture submitted his key address on the following note:

Before advent of IFAD-VCDP we were not rated as major rice producers but today we are targeting over 40,000 metric tonnes of rice this farming season which is a welcome development.

“As a government the Governor Samuel Ortom led administration would continued to meet its obligation in its pact with the IFAD-VCDP with a view to ensuring that our farmers get the need support to enhance their productivity and annual yield from their farming business,

“We enjoin our farmers who have been enlisted to the programme to fully respect the Memoranda of Understanding, MOU, they entered into with Olam in order to reap the full benefits of the agreement.”

The Benue state farmers at the occasion commended the IFAD-VCDP for coming to their aid at the time of economy recession and hardship and pledges their continue production of clean rice production in the state and the country.

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