IFAD lifts 1,040 farmers out of poverty in Enugu

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says directly lifted no fewer than 1,040 dry farmers of poverty in Enugu State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IFAD’s Value Chain Development Programme Additional-Financing (VCDP-AF) is currently running in five pilot council areas of the state.

The beneficiary councils are Aninri, Isiuzo, Nkanu East, Udenu and Enugu East.

The IFAD Coordinator in the state, Dr Edward Isiwu, told NAN in Enugu on Friday that the economic impact of the concluded dry programme on participating farmers had been tremendous.

Isiwu noted that the farmers were able to achieve the feat through IFAD-VCDP of free agro-inputs, high-yield seedlings, best agronomy technique and farming support.

He said that through the programme, the farmers were technically assisted to increase their yield per hectare in the dry farming.

According to him, the 1040 farmers who participated in the dry season farming were able to increase their yield from 1.5 tonnes or two tonnes per hectare to 4.7 tonnes or five tonnes per hectare.

The coordinator said that there had been an overwhelming bumper harvest judging from what is been observed in the farmlands and testimonies of the farmers.

He disclosed that the benefiting pilot council areas had specific areas of agricultural specialisation.

He noted that Aninri, Isiuzo and Nkanu East concentrated on farming while Udenu and Enugu East engage in production.

One of the participating farmers, Mr Christian Ivoke, from Ofuobi Aninri Farmers Organisation in Aninri Local Government Area, described the high yield as “a miracle’’.

Ivoke, whose farm is at Okpanku community, said that he usually made a maximum yield of two tonnes per hectare, but that with the intervention of IFAD-VCDP, he achieved 4.7 tonnes per hectare.

“I got IFAD-VCDP support for one hectare of farmland.

“I also got free inputs such as rice seedlings, herbicides, fertilisers and capacity building on best agronomic .

“I am happy with IFAD-VCDP support to my rice farming activities.

“In fact, IFAD-VCDP is a God-sent programme.

“IFAD-VCDP opened my eyes to rice farming knowledge through their capacity building on best agronomic which I and my colleagues applied strictly in our rice farm.

is now that I realised that I have been wasting my time all these years; as I was using a traditional style of agricultural before.

“Currently, with the support of IFAD, I am already overcoming poverty.

“I appreciate IFAD for introducing us to best agronomic rice farming practices producing bountiful yields,’’ Ivoku said. (NAN)