Mr Iremia Musa, the Taraba State Programme Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) on Thursday said 8,077 Taraba farmers have been supported by IFAD.
Musa said they were supported with agro-inputs by the programme for rice and cassava production between 2015 and 2019 in the state.
He disclosed this during the inauguration of input distribution for 2019 main cropping season at Sunkani, Ardo-kola Local Government Council.
Musa said that 1,781 farmers were selected to benefit from the support in 2019.
He said that the programme was supporting farmers with 50 per cent of the total cost of inputs amounting to N64.5 million in 2019 cropping season.
“This exercise is to support our farmers on a matching grant basis of 50 per cent contribution from farmers to be paid directly to the accredited input dealers at the point of collection while the programme pays the balance of 50 per cent thereafter.
“This is just one of the many supports provided to our farmers to move them from an average 1.5 to 5.9 metric tonnes per hectare for rice during rainy season and from 2.5 to 7.89 irrigated farming,” he said.
Musa said that farmers had been linked up with off-takers to buy off their produce to avoid the situation where they would be stranded after harvest.
Mr Jeremiah Danjuma, the Permanent Secretary, Taraba Ministry of Agriculture, appreciated the efforts of IFAD-VCDP and the state government for the input support to farmers to boost rice and cassava production.
Danjuma said that the government would continue to support genuine farmers in the state in its quest to put Taraba in the rightful place in the agriculture map of Nigeria.
He appealed to the benefiting farmers not to sell the inputs but use them for the purpose intended.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Fatima Abdullahi thanked the government for the efforts made in supporting farmers to boost agriculture.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that bags of fertiliser, agro chemicals, sprayers, rice seedlings and cassava stems were distributed to benefiting farmers at the occasion.