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Touching lives of communities via FG/IFAD’s Agribusiness Support Programme



Touching lives of communities via ’s Agribusiness Support Programme

, Nigeria News Agency

The Executive Board of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2013 approved the  Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP) to be executed  in seven states in the savannah belt of Nigeria.

Project initiation began in 2015, while the goal is to reduce rural poverty, increase food security and accelerate economic growth on a sustainable basis

The benefitting sates are:  Borno, Jigawa Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Yobe, with focus on boosting rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, millet, cowpea and groundnut production.

Alhaji Muhammad Idah, the National Coordinator of the programme, who presented the mid-term performance of the programme recently in Dutse, said the achievements so far, showed the readiness of farmers to adapt to best agro-economic practice and innovations.

He reiterated that CASP is funded by IFAD, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The coordinator said that the life span of the programme will terminate on March 31, 2021, while the financial support will end on Sept. 31, 2021.

He listed the four components of the programme as: productivity enhancement and climate resilience; enterprise development for women and youths; institutional development and programme coordination and management.

Idah said that the productivity enhancement and climate change resilience were meant to support and strengthen production, through effective extension method, using the Farmer Field/Business School ().

He disclosed that under CASP, 29,833 smallholder farmers were reached as against the 35,000 targeted, which represented 85.23 per cent.

“We have also trained 408 facilitators under the programme as against a target of 430.

“In the area of seed production, we trained 71 groups on seed production, as against the programme’s  target of 133, which represents 53.38 per cent.

“We distributed 37,940kg of assorted foundation seeds to 718 farmers to produce certified seeds in collaboration with the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC).”

The national coordinator said that in the period under review, 8,604 irrigation water pumps were provided in the focal states for dry season farming.

“We also built 53 market stalls, weighing/sorting sheds, drying floors, toilet and water facilities and 53 warehouses, under the programme which are all at completion stages.

“We supported the internally displaced persons in Borno, Yobe and flood victims in Jigawa, out of which 8,044 households received fertilizer; 3,580 households received millet seeds; 2,501 households received sorghum seeds; 2, 097 households received cowpea seeds and 600 households received livestock.’’

The coordinator also said that under the climate change resilience and adaptation, innovative climate resilient practice were introduced to address soil losses and land degradation through erosion control.

According to him, the aim is to boost and increase soil moisture and water conservation for crop production purposes.

Idah explained that the programme is in collaborating with the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Amman, Jordan, for irrigation programmes in participating states.

“CASP has also constructed solar powered boreholes with overhead tanks and livestock watering points across the participating states to provide potable water.”

He said other achievements recorded include establishments of grazing lands and improved pasture seed grass to provide quality fodder for animals in the seven focal states.

“This will guide the communities against climate change effects on grazing lands.

“We provided 14,045 energy saving cooking stoves to women in the CASP states, 59.09km rural roads were also rehabilitated in the period under review.”

According to Idah, under the agricultural value chain financing, 1,308 farmers were linked to the Bank of Industry (BoI) and each farmer obtained a loan of N193, 370,980.

“A a total of 1,730 youths have also received equipment for animal traction, out of 3,535 target.

“So far, we have formed 486 new Community Development Associations (CDAs), in addition to the existing 201 ones.

“We have also established 10,409 irrigation facilities (tube wells, wash bores and water pumps) in the participating states.”

Idah thanked the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Ministry of Finance and National Planning for their immensurable support to the programme.

“Worthy of mention is the support and contributions of the governments of the seven participating states towards the success of the programme,”

Cross section of beneficiaries who spoke on the impact of the interventions, commended the initiators of the programme.

Bintu Kyariram, of Kyari-Kawuri village, in Kaga Local Government Area of Borno, an  internally displaced person, enumerated what he gained from the programme.

“I was able to farm and get money to pay my children’s school fees as well as feed the family.

“My participation in the programme has made a significant change in my life, because I am now financially independent.

“I was also able to learn tailoring and I bought sewing machine from the money I realised from farming,” she added.

Another beneficiary from Balle community in Fune Local Government of Yobe, Malam Bukar Lawan, who benefitted from the farmer-field school intervention programme, said that he acquired new knowledge on how a small portion of land can be utilised for high yields.

Similarly, the village head of Yangora, in Bindawa Local Government Area of  Katsina State, Alhaji Bello Shehu, scored CASP high, in terms of projects’ execution.

Shehu gave the commendation in view of many projects executed in his area, including culverts and drainages in Rugar Bade and Yangora villages, as well as the construction of 4.5km feeder roads from Kurungus to Yangora village, all in Bindawa Local Government Area.

He listed other projects as solar powered boreholes in Bindawa town and Yangora village.

“The solar powered boreholes were in addition to 24 drilled boreholes, constructed at different rural communities for domestic purposes,” the village head said.

Abubakar Uban Dawaki, the Secretary of Kammata Village Farmers’ Cooperative Group, Wammako Local Government Area of Sokoto State, said the programme impacted positively on benefitting communities.

“Prior to CASP intervention, about 600 rural dwellers in the area managed an old concrete cement well for their drinking water,

“But now, about 1,000 people source water from the hand driven borehole, which serves not only the people of the area, but also other nearby communities.”

Hajiya Maimuna Abdulkadir, a leader of Women Farmers’ Cooperative Group, in Kiyawa Local Government Area of Jigawa, said that they were provided with grinding mill machines for extracting groundnut oil through the intervention.

Maimuna said that there were also supported with fertilizers, improved seeds and other farm inputs.

The gesture, she noted helped to boost food production.

With support and commitment from focal states, the programme will live up to its mandate of reducing rural poverty, increase food security and accelerate economic growth on a sustainable basis.


**If used, please credit the writer as well as Nigeria News Agency 


2020 Farming Season: IFAD/FGN-VCDP inaugurates agro inputs-distribution in Anambra



The International Fund for Agricultural Development and Federal Government assisted Value Chain Development Programme have inaugurated the distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers under the programme in Anambra.

Mr Henry Anagboso, the programmes spokesperson in the State disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Awka.

Anagboso said that the inauguration followed the state government’s approval for the take-off of 2020 farming season.

According to him, the move is aimed at curbing food shortage which may be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the inputs available for distribution included rice seeds, cassava stems, fertilisers and agro-chemicals.

“Earlier, the state coordinating office as part of its resilience, held a meeting with agro dealers to discuss modalities toward keying into the Federal Government’s fight to curb hunger post COVID-19.

“The major point of the meeting chaired by the State Programme Coordinator of VCDP, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha was to strengthen the synergy with agro dealers and to make farmers have access to inputs to avert shortage of food as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The spokesman told the farmers to always wear face masks and maintain social distancing in line with state government’s directive on prevention of spread of coronavirus

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the state government had earlier earmarked N98.4 million as counterpart fund for 2020 farming season.

Over 7,000 rice and cassava farmers will access the fund at 50 per cent (N45,000) per hectare. 

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Anambra Govt. earmarks N98.4m for 2020 FG/IFAD-VCDP farming season



Anambra Government says it has earmarked N98.4 million as counterpart fund for the Federal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), for 2020 farming season.

The State Programme Coordinator of VCDP, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha, made the disclosure in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Awka on Tuesday.

Agwuncha said the money would be spent mostly on the purchase of fertilisers, seeds and seedlings as well as agro-chemicals, among other farm inputs for distribution to farmers under the programme.

According to him, over 7,000 rice and cassava farmers would access the fund at 50 per cent (N45, 000) per hectare.

“Our target this year is to reach 7,000 rice and cassava farmers, to provide rural infrastructure at the three additional local government areas of Ihiala, Ogbaru and Orumba South and to build market stalls.

“We also plan to equip processing centres in the areas with milling and de-stoning machines,” he said.

Agwuncha said the programme further targets to provide three solar powered boreholes, create over 30 kilometers of access roads as well as develop farmland of over 150 hectares.

However, the coordinator said the State and Federal Governments’ directive on lockdown and social distancing to curtail the spread of COVID-19 had stalled some of its activities for the year.

He said a ten-hectare proposed irrigation project aimed at assisting farmers to cultivate rice all through the year at Omor in Ayamelum Local Government Area had been put on hold as a result.

“We were to launch the 2020 farming season and commence distribution of farm inputs today (March 31), but it was put on hold because of the restriction on social gathering.

“Also, we are supposed to have prepared production business plan for the farmers but most of these things are on hold because there is limitation to the extent we can go close to them,” he said.

Agwuncha, who noted that VCDP had organised sensitisation for farmers on the reality of COVID-19, urged them to maintain proper hygiene and to report any suspicious case to the government.

While commending Gov. Willie Obiano for his support to the programme, the Coordinator expressed confidence that the programme would still achieve all its objectives for the year.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Felix Ajide


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FG/IFAD-VCPD train officials on canal construction



The Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has trained officials on construction of canal for irrigation purpose.

Mr Akibu Ahmed, Lead Consultant, IFAD-VCPD on irrigation made this known during a practical session of the five day training in Minna.

“We are gathered here to train on irrigation techniques. After the training the officials will go back to their states to train farmers on how they can plan and construct irrigation for their farms,” he said.

Ahmed said that the training was meant for irrigation engineers and agricultural production officers attached to the programme in the six participating states.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the six VCDP participating states in rice and cassava value chain include Niger, Taraba, Ogun, Anambra, Benue and Ebonyi.

He said that the exercise was jointly financed by the federal government and IFAD.

The consultant said that the training would expose the trainees to modern techniques in establishing a canal for irrigation purpose.

Similarly, Mr Frank Njar, National Irrigation Engineer, VCDP said that the measure was aimed at boosting dry season farming, especially the cultivation of rice.

Also, Dr Mathew Ahmed, VCDP Coordinator in the state said that the current Additional Financing in the VCDP gives priority to cultivation of dry season rice.

Ahmed said that the programme discovered that wet season cultivation of rice alone could not bring rice farmers out of poverty.

“The idea is to boost production for the farmers which will increase their income thereby eradicating poverty among them,” he said.

Mrs Ajisage Temitope, Agricultural Development Officer, VCDP, Ogun state said that the training would expose them to modern ways of helping farmers to develop irrigation channels during the dry season farming.

“During the training we were taught both theory and practical aspects of developing irrigation channels,” she said.

Temitope promised that farmers from her state would benefit from the knowledge she acquired during the training.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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IFAD hands over processing mill to Abakaliki rice association



The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), on Tuesday handed over a new processing mill to the Abakaliki Rice Mill Association.

Mr Sunday Ituma, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC) of IFADVCDP, handed the mill to the association at Iboko, Izzi LGA of Ebonyi.

Ituma said that the initiative was part of the programme’s marketing component.

According to him, the multi-million naira facility has a warehouse, processing, parboiling sections among others to ensure a complete chain in rice processing and marketing.

“The programme realises the environmental challenges posed by rice husks and procured a machine that would convert the waste into good use.

“The product from the converted wastes will be used to energise the steam parboilers, which is faster and more effective than wood,’’ he said.

The coordinator said that the VCDP installed two simple mini-processing machines that are manageable for small scale processors.

“The maintenance cost of the machines is low and they enhance production output,’’ he said.

He said that the programme also worked out a simple management structure for the mill to be more proactive and sustainable.

“This made it (VCDP) to involve the private sector in ensuring effective maintenance of the machines in order to increase output.

“We will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the rice mill association to ensure effective management of the facility.’’

He commended the Ebonyi Government for in ensuring the effective take-off of the mill and for assisting the programme in the state.

Chief Moses Nome, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources commended IFADVDCP for its interventions in the state.

Nome said the VCDP had enhanced agricultural production especially, rice and cassava Ebonyi.

IFADVCDP has educated our farmers on modern and high yielding techniques in rice planting and also in the areas of processing, packaging among others.

“This has increased the rice and cassava production capabilities of our farmers and made them entrepreneurs who presently view the venture as a business,’’ the commissioner said.

He assured that the state government would engage the private sector to ensure effective management of the mill.

Mr Emmanuel Ogodo, Chairman of the association, thanked, thanked IFADVCDP for providing the facility.

Ogodo pledged, pledged on behalf of other rice millers, to cooperate in ensuring effective maintenance of the mill.

Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Grace Yussuf


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IFAD builds N13m market in Jigawa



The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has built a market worth N13 million in Auyakayi Village, Auyo Local Government Area of Jigawa.

Alhaji Umar Danzomo, IFAD’s Support Officer in the state,  made the disclosure on Monday at the inauguration of the grains and perishable items market.

He said that the market which had shops, stores, toilets and solar-powered boreholes, was built under the Climate Change Adaptation Programme of the organisation.

Danzomo said that the programme would empower  rural dwellers, increase their incomes and make them self-reliant.

The officer hailed the federal, state and local governments for prompt payment of their counterpart funds for IFAD projects, and called on benefitting communities to use the facilities judiciously.

In his remarks, the Auyo Local Government Chairman, Alhaji Umar Musa-Kalgwai, thanked IFAD for selecting the area for implementation of the programme,  and promised continued  support for the organisation to achieve its mandate.

Also, the District Head of Auyo, Alhaji Umar Muhammad,  called on farmers to always co-operate with extension workers to increase their production efficiency.

Edited by: Abiodun Esan/Ijeoma Popoola


Edited by: Abiodun Esan

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IFAD/VCDP lauds youth farmers over training programmes in Ebonyi



The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), has produced youth farmers who are millionaires and employers of labour in Ebonyi.

Mr Sunday Ituma, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC) made this known during the 2019 Youth Forum in Abakaliki on Thursday.

He said that the youth were supported by the programme as rice seed entrepreneurs and cassava stem multipliers.

Ituma said that some of the youth farmers sold rice seedlings of above N2 million to the programme and got paid instantly for such supplies.

“The programme has trained 20 youth farmers from the state at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan, Oyo for the production of rice seedlings.

“It also trained another set of 15 youth farmers at the National Root Crops Research Institute Umudike, Abia, as cassava stem multipliers.

“The youth farmers supplied all the rice seedlings and cassava cuttings were distributed to 1, 670 framers in the 2019 farming season as their produce passed through our seed -testing laboratory and were certified fit,” he said.

The coordinator remarked that the programme aimed at making the youth farmers employers of labour, saying that  some of them were employing people who worked under them.

“One of them, Cynthia Edeze has four employed persons under her and their enterprises had increased their income level and enhanced their livelihood.

“The programme has also exposed the youth to various forms of training both locally and internationally to acquaint them with modern agricultural practices.

“Edeze recently attended a training programme in Cameroon while Mrs Elizabeth Edu, attended a training programme in Rome, Italy on capacity building.

“Most of them have attended other training programmes on leadership, soil management, group dynamics, access to financing, among others, while also assuming role model positions to other youths,” Ituma said.

He said that by the design, a lot of emphasis was placed on providing support to youths and women as over 30 per cent of such support went to them.

“We, therefore, organised them in a youth forum in order not to lose track of what they are doing as some of them have been trained on using rice and cassava to produce recipes that improve nutrition,” he said.

Chief Moses Nome, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, urged the youth to take their various agricultural enterprises seriously to be self-sustaining and achieve overall objectives.

“The job you are doing as farmers is the greatest job in the world as you are already making millions and becoming your own bosses through farming,” Nome said.

Mrs Fransisca Anya, the IFAD-VCDP Rural Institution Gender Youth Mainstreaming Officer (RIGYMO) in Ebonyi, said that the forum gave the youth farmers, opportunities of sharing ideas about their activities in the benefiting local government areas to enhance their productivity.

Mrs Elizabth Edu, one of the youth farmers, thanked IFAD-VCDP for the opportunity of attending a training programme in Rome, saying that she would put the acquired knowledge into practice.

Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Adeleye Ajayi

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IFAD-VCDP honours outstanding farmers, programme coordinator in Niger




The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Niger had presented plagues of excellence to its best performing farmers in the state.

Alhaji Haliru Jikantoro, state commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this on Wednesday in Minna while presenting farmers and State Programme Coordinator.

The event was in recognition of their contributions to the success of the rice and cassava VCDP in Niger.

“We are here today to honour you for making the VCDP on rice and cassava a huge success in Niger state,” he said.

Jikantoro said that the award would encourage the recipients to contribute more positively to the development of the VCDP.

Nigeria News Agency reports that about 17 rice and cassava producers, processors and marketers received awards in their various categories for outstanding performances.

The categories of awards included the best rice and cassava producers of the year, best rice and cassava processors of the year and best rice and cassava off-takers of the year.

Others include the best Focal Officers of the year, best seed entrepreneur of the year, best cassava stem multiplication of the year, best aggregator of the year and best lead farmer of the year among others.

Also, Dr Ahmed Mathew, the State Programme Coordinator was honoured with best leadership award.

Similarly, Dr Ahmed Mathew, the State Programme Coordinator, said the VCDP was working with 22,000 farmers in Bida, Katcha, Kontagora, Shiroro, Wushishi, Edati, Mokwa and Borgu Local Government Areas of the state.

Mathew said that the intervention programme had assisted the farmers to acquire farm inputs, implements, linkage to markets and helped in making their produce to meet international standards.

“What the VCDP has done is to expose these farmers to modern techniques in farming,’’ he said.

He said that before the intervention the farmers were producing 1.5 metric ton of rice per annum but now they produce between six and eight metric tons of rice.

The Programme Coordinator said that cassava producers who got six metric tons per annum were now producing 25 metric ton.

He said that the programme was targeting more than 30,000 women and youths in the state toward ensuring food security.

Also, Mr Ismaila Reza, who won the best seed producer of the year, said the programme exposed him to good agronomical practice that increased his output and income.

Reza appreciated the IFAD-VCDP and the Federal Government for the gesture.

Edited by: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ismail Abdulaziz

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IFAD additional financing programme to enhance Ebonyi farmers’ productive potential — Official




The additional financing programme of the International Fund for Agricutlural Development (IFAD)-Value Chain Assisted Programme (VCDP) is set to enhance the productive potentials of the Ebonyi farmers.

Mr Sunday Ituma, State Programme Coordinator (SPC) of the IFAD-VCDP in Ebonyi disclosed this in Abakaliki during the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN)/VCDP Commodity Fair, adding that the programme would commence in January 2020.

Ituma said that the additional financing programme which was signed with the FGN, would last until 2023 and enhance mechanisms for farmers engaged in production activities, processing and marketing of value chain produce of rice and cassava.

“The IFAD-VCDP and the FGN approved the additional financing due to the successes recorded in its current intervention originally scheduled to end on Dec. 31.

“The programme also approved that the additional financing be implemented in three additional Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state, including the existing five LGA of intervention.

“This will assist farmers produce optimally, create more outreach for them and provide robust activities in terms of rural infrastructure, construction of markets, farm roads among others,” he said.

The SPC said that the commodity fair was borne from the fact of IFAD-VCDP being ‘market-led’ which ensured that farmers had outlets for their produce before giving them support.

“We work with the ‘off-takers’ and link our farmers to them while ensuring that periodically we review the approaches; we support all through the value chain.

“This includes the production activities as selected farmers showcase their produce: rice, cassava including value addition though on a small scale.

“The off-takers also have the opportunity of demonstrating improvement they have made in their processing activities over time,” he said.

He appreciated the state government led by Gov. David Umahi for giving the programme the necessary enablement in terms of counterpart funding and disposition of interacting with him.

Dr Rita Okoro, Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, described IFAD-VCDP sojourn in the state as successful and pledged the state government’s continued collaboration.

“The programme has given immense support to government policies and programmes towards agricultural development.

“We are happy to see what is happening in the state’s agricultural sector and would readily offer any form of support to the programme to continue thriving,” she said.

Mr Olisa Mokelu, Ebonyi Branch Manager of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), said that the corporation would continue offering insurance services to ameliorate the risks suffered by farmers in their agricultural endeavours.

Mrs Cynthia Edeze, a Participant at the fair, said that it would enable her to showcase her cassava produce and learn new methods of enhancing its yield.

Edited /Donald Ugwu

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IFAD-CASP distributes 760 pumping machines to Zamfara communities



The international Funds for Agricultural Development programme Climate Change Adaptation and Agro business Support Programme (IFAD-CASP) has on Tuesday distributed 760 water pumping machines to 22 Community Development Associations across the 14 local government areas of Zamfara.

The state Programme Officer (SPO), Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi, disclosed this during the launching of irrigation farm imputs at Matusgi area of Talata Mafara Local Government Area.

Abdullahi said because of the importance of irrigation farming in the state, tube wells had been dug at various irrigation sites, which he said, would enable irrigation farmers in the state to water their crops.

According to him, the distribution of water pumping machines and other imputs would also help to reduce the hardships being faced by the irrigation farmers.

He urged the benefiting communities to make good use of the support by using the machines for the purposes they were meant in order to improve their yields.

The programme officer further said that the provision of the water pumping machines to the communities would boost agricultural activities and Agro- businesses in the state, especially production of cash crops such as rice and vegetables which, according to him, had ready-made markets.

One of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Muhammad Zangina, commended the programme support, saying their production had significantly increased following the support and assistance they received under the programme.

Before now, we did not have adequate water for our crops, but now with the new pumping machines, it is a guarantee that our production will increase.

Similarly, a female beneficiary, Halima Mukhtar, said that during irrigation farming, she produced 110 bags of rice; 90 bags of millet and 100 bags of sorghum without the pumping machine, but that with this development, irrigation production would be enhanced in the state.

Mukhtar called on women in the state to embrace irrigation, which she said, would help them to support their families.

Edited by: Abdullahi Yusuf

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