By Felicia Imohimi
The Federal Government/International Fund for Agricultural Development Programme (FGN/IFAD)-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) says it has trained 6,793 members of farmers’ organisations from January to August.
Dr Fatima Aliyu, National Programme Coordinator, IFAD/VCDP said this on Thursday in Abuja at the Federal Government/IFAD-VCDP Additional Financing Implementation Support Mission.
Aliyu, represented by Mr Usman Mohammed, Financial Controller of IFAD-VCDP, said the number trained representing 119 per cent achievement were more than the annual target of 5,706.
She said that a total of 23,265 beneficiaries had been trained from inception of VCDP additional financing in 2019.
Aliyu said the overall VCDP objective was to enhance on a sustainable basis, incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in the programme states.
The NPC said members of the groups were trained on financial literacy.
Giving a breakdown of achievement in 2022, Aliyu said 188 cassava farmers’ groups consisting of 390 adult males, 320 adult females, 236 male youths and 152 female youths were trained.
She added that they were trained in Enugu and Nasarawa being VCDP new states.
“A total sum of N31,340,900 were deposited to pay for their matching grant support for 2022 cassava wet season production.
“709 rice farmers groups consisting of 447 adult males, 301 adult females, 164 male youths and 145 female youths in the two states deposited a sum of N50,176,032 matching grant support for 2022 rice wet season production.
“VCDP implementing states are nine consisting of Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun, Taraba, Enugu, Nasarawa and Kogi,” Aliyu said.
Dede Ekuoe, IFAD Nigeria Country Director, said the implementation support mission of the project done twice annually with a team of international and national experts was to access project performance against annual target.
Ekuoe said the essence of the mission was basically to accelerate project implementation.
According to her, IFAD and the Federal Government are trying to see how they can leverage resources to impact many more farmers and also to yield a deeper and more positive transformation of the livelihoods of farmers.
“Implementation support mission is to help the project achieve its purpose and then to accelerate implementation of programme activities to ensure that the project is on course.
“The mission go to the field, assess what is in the report, interact with farmers, stakeholders, VCDP staff in participating states to see the progress made and address the bottlenecks in terms of implementation.
“We are here to provide our technical guidance so that we can really boost the results to the full potential of VCDP, a transformative programme that has been recognised as a key tool for improving rural livelihoods,’’
Also, Ms Carine Toure, Senior Procurement Specialist IFAD West and Central Africa, said additional finance would help Nigeria to absorb money to fast-track VCDP project and enable beneficiaries timely access to goods and services.
Toure said IFAD and the government decided to extend VCDP projects to enable more rural farmers in the country benefit. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Razak Owolabi