FG, IFAD distribute farm inputs to Cassava, Rice farmers in Nasarawa

Federal Government, in collaboration with International Fund for Development (IFAD), on began distribution of farm inputs to 1,050 Cassava and Rice farmers in Nasarawa State.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that distribution of inputs for 2021 wet season under Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).

Speaking during distribution, State Programme Coordinator of VCDP, Mrs Eunice Adgidzi said farmers were drawn from 64 farmers’ organisations from Lafia, Doma, Wamba, Nasarawa and Karu Local Government Areas of the state.

Items distributed included 15,050 kilogrammes of improved rice seedlings, 4,650 bundles of cassava cuttings, 788 litres of selective and non-selective herbicides, 78,800 kilogrammes of NPK fertiliser, and 30,100 kilogrammes of urea fertiliser.

Adgidzi said that VCDP programme started in July 2020 in Nasarawa State with mandate of improving the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava.

She added that this was the second time they were distributing inputs to farmers in the state since the programme begun in July 2020.

She explained that since inception, VCDP had been working  to fulfil their mandate.

“In December 2020, we distributed similar inputs to nine farmers’ organisations in Lafia and Doma LGAs to support dry season farming.

“That supports yielded mind-blowing result following massive yield from the dry season farmers in the benefiting LGAs,’’ she said.

The coordinator further explained that Afakpo Multipurpose Cooperative Society, one of the groups that benefited from the programme in 2020, harvested 7.5 metric tons of rice per hectare above the international standard of 4.5 metric tons.

She, therefore, enjoined the beneficiaries and other stakeholders to hands with the government that Nasarawa State surpasses global standard in rice and cassava production.

On his part, Prof. Alanana Otaki, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources commended Federal Government and IFAD for the programme which aimed at enhancing food sufficiency.

The commissioner said that Gov. Abdullahi Sule-led administration had given agriculture a strategic placement in order to transform the state.

He added that the state had keyed into the Federal Government’s programmes.

According to him, the state government had invested a lot in the sector to meet the global standard in agriculture for self-sufficiency in food production.

Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Alanana, the Programme Manager, Nasarawa Development Programme, urged farmers to take advantage of the initiative to maximise their potential in food production.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Gini Yahana, a farmer, expressed gratitude to the government and IFAD for the gesture.

He remarked that the programme would go a long way in boosting food production in the state.

He, however, appealed for the extension of the programme to the other LGAs to enable more farmers to benefit.

The farmers also appealed to the Nasarawa State Government to support farmers’ organisations with tractors and other farm inputs. (NAN)