The Federal Government has released N84 million as grant to Sasakawa Global 2000 (SG 2000) to support the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the implementation of its projects in 12 states.
The SG 2000 Country Director, Prof. Sani Ahmed-Miko disclosed this while addressing farmers at Alesi in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River on Wednesday.
The farmers, who were from two communities in the area, have 10 cooperative groups working under the Africa Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project.
He said the money, which was given in January 2019, was far below what was given in 2014 when the organisation was operating in six states.
He said the Federal Government had in 2014 released N200 million to the organisation for the implementation of its projects in six states, pointing out that the money was spent on the purchase of 22 motorcycles and other operational vehicles.
He said part of the money was also used to support farmers on how to improve cassava production under the Africa Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project as well as the production of other crops in the participating states.
The SG 2000 officials were in the state to interact with small holderfarmers as well as to assess the implementation of the various intervention programmes
The Country director expressed delight that Cross River state is among the six where the ICAI project was still being implemented in view of its importance to cassava growers.
He noted that the introduction of the new ideas or technology in the production of the commodity had greatly increased its productivity.
“The idea is that we want to train people on the new farming technologies so that they can produce enough to feed themselves and have extra money to spend,” he said.
Ahmed-Miko, who urged farmers in the area to form cooperatives so as to enable them benefit from the various agricultural interventions, said the SG 2000 would continue to support farmers in the state to enable them improve their socio-economic status.
Some of the farmers, who spoke at the occasion, thanked the organisation for bringing the new technology in cassava production to them.
They called for additional support in terms of loan facility and other supports to expand their farming activities.
The team was in the area in continuation of the media field day tour, which was designed to enable local farmers to interact with the SG officials and journalists. (NAN