Over four hundred vulnerable rural rice and cassava farmers have benefitted from the Federal Government and the International Fund for Agriculture IFAD’s Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) in Taraba State.
The flag-off ceremony of the Rice Production Inputs to farmers under the IFAD COVID-19 pandemic tagged: Rural Poor Stimulus Facility grant, took place in Jalingo, the capital city.
Speaking at the occasion, the National Coordinator of the program, Dr. Fatima Aliyu who was represented by Mr. Musa Dalong said the Value Chain Development Program is a joint program between the federal government and the IFAD being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
She explained that the program aims to improve the incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing, and marketing of rice and cassava on a sustainable basis.
She remarked that the grant was meant for vulnerable farmers in the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) States that comprise Enugu, Kogi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Benue, Niger, Taraba, and Ebonyi to sustain their production and help them recover more quickly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Aliyu, however, appreciated the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammed Mahmood who is making effort to ensure that the sector’s goals of achieving food and nutrition security, employment creation as well as wealth generation amongst others are attained,
In his address, the Taraba State IFAD-VCDP Coordinator, Mr. Irimiya Musa said those that benefitted are the poor of the poorest in the Program’s Database and were identified as well as validated by the National Office in Abuja.
He named the 8 benefitting LGAs to include Ardo Kola, Gassol, Donga, Jalingo, Karim Lamido, Takum, Bali, and Wukari, noting that they were selected because of their comparative advantage in rice and cassava production.
The Permanent Secretary, Taraba State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Yusuf Gadi acknowledged that IFAD-VCDP has recorded a lot of achievements in the field implementation of its activities in the state such as the increase in yield for rice production from 1.75/Ha to 4.85MT/ha for rain-fed agriculture.
Others included the training and capacity building of farmers in good agronomic practice that led to the increased yield per hectare, provision of processing facilities, and aggregation centers across the participating LGAs among others.
The inputs distributed to each of the 447 beneficiaries consisted of 25kg certified rice seeds, 2 liters of herbicide for youth only, 2 bags of NPK, and 1 bag of Urea fertilizer.
Reporting by Sani Sulaiman, editing by Daniel Adejo.