By Stephen Adeleye
The Federal Government, through the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), has distributed inputs to rural farmers affected by flood disaster, for the 2022/2023 dry season farming in Kogi.
The distribution is on the platform of the Value Chain Development Programme, supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD/VCDP).
The National Programme Coordinator (NPC), FGN/IFAD-VCDP, Dr Fatima Aliyu, flagged off the distribution on Wednesday at the Agricultural Development Project (ADP) office, Felele, Lokoja.
Aliyu, who was represented by Mr Gidado Bello, the Programme’s Human Resource Adviser, said the gesture is to cushion the devastating effects by the recent flood disaster on rural farmers and boost food security in the state.
According to her, VCDP has regular programmes to support rural farmers with subsidised inputs to improve their farming and farm production.
She explained that this particular input distribution is special because it is coming immediately after the unfortunate experience of flooding which had severely affected the farmers.
Aliyu said that input distribution is to provide the immediate needed support to farmers to resume their farm business during the dry season.
Aliyu stressed that the inputs would assist the farmers to get back to their business and recover some of their losses.
She added that the gesture would also give the farmers assurance that VCDP is there for them.
She encouraged the beneficiaries not to lose hope in collaborating and working with VCDP at all times, but be rest assured that VCDP would always be there for them.
She enjoined them to make good use of the inputs to encourage the VCDP to give them more, stressing the need to demonstrate efficient utilisation of what they had been given.
Aliyu commended the state programme coordinator and her team for their impressive performance which had made Kogi one of the best out of the nine VCDP benefitting States in the country.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr David Apeh, commended the VCDP for the gesture, saying it would greatly cushion the flood effects on the farmers and the state.
Apeh reiterated the commitment of the state government to the payment of counterpart contributions towards agricultural development to boost food production in the state.
Earlier, Dr Stella Adejoh, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC), said the inputs would encourage the farmers to quickly engage in drying season farming to help cushion the effect of the flood disaster.
Dr Adejoh stressed that early distribution would encourage farmers to go back to farm early to start planting, so as to begin harvesting within the next three months.
She said even though they lost all their farmlands, giving them farm inputs implements would help their production activities to improve on their yield.
”Without supporting the farmers at this point in time, you can imagine the level of hunger that the population is going to experience from January next year.
”So, this is to reduce that hunger, help increase the farmers’ income and reduce poverty,” she said.
The SPC advised the beneficiaries to use the items judiciously, saying the VCDP officials would be there to support them with good agronomy practices to help improve their yields.
She urged them not to sell the inputs, saying VCDP evaluation and monitoring team would monitor them to ensure total compliance.
On his part, the ADP Managing Director, Chief George Ogirima, commended the Kogi Government for living up to expectations of rural farmers.
The beneficiaries, Mrs Mutiat Momoh, Lokoja, and Mr Muru Tijani, Ajaokuta, both thanked Kogi VCDP for coming to their aid with the inputs.
They promised to utilise the items to boost production and better their lives.
NAN reports that items distributed include: certified rice seed, fertilizers, sprayers, planters, harvesters, insecticides, herbicides, and irrigation pumps, among others. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi