The Value Chain Development Programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD-VCDP) has injected 68.9 million U.S. dollars into the Nigerian economy.
Ms. Mariatu Kamara, IFAD Programme Officer, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 2018 National Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF).
She said that the engagement of private-sector players by IFAD-VCDP through the CAF initiative had resulted in the production of 140,000 tonnes of rice and 30,000 tonnes of cassava annually, generating about 68.9 million dollars as revenue.
Kamara said that in Benue State alone 25,000 tonnes of rice and cassava were produced, while about nine million dollars was realised.
She said that CAF had been a success story, adding that government should, therefore, replicate the programme in other parts of the country, apart from Benue, Taraba, Ogun, Anambra, Kebbi, Nasarawa and Niger states that were currently participating in IFAD-VCDP.
Kamara pledged that IFAD would continue to provide relevant support for the government and citizens of Nigerian, in a bid to engender the development of rural communities.
Speaking, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, commended the achievements of the CAF initiative, describing the programme as a boost to the Federal Government’s agricultural promotion policy.
“The VCDP partnership with OLAM under the CAF initiative has attracted global attention.
“I urge other states to understand CAF and liaise with VCDP to replicate the successful model in their states,’’ he said.
Lokpobiri, who was represented by Mrs Eniye Ambakederemo, his Special Technical Adviser Agric-Business, said that the initiative had enhanced the rice revolution scheme in the country, while strengthening efforts to achieve food security.
He said that the Federal Government was determined to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production and completely put an end to rice importation.
Lokpobiri said that as part of efforts to achieve quality rice processing in the country, the government had procured 10 giant rice processing mills worth N10 billion.
He said that the mills would be installed in Bayelsa and nine other states.
Dr Ahmed Onoja, the National Programme Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, said that IFAD-VCDP had been invited by UN ECOSCO to participate in the 2018 SDGs Investment Fair in New York so as to share its experience regarding the Public Private Producer Partnership (4Ps model) with Olam.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.
Onoja said that the adoption of 4Ps model had doubled farmers’ income, while creating a reliable structure for sustainable supply of raw materials to processors.
He said that so far, 1,725 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) had been signed with off-takers in the six participating states, while 410 contractual agreements had been formalised, with more than 35,000 farmers linked to off-takers.
The VCDP is a six-year project of the Federal Government which is funded by IFAD.
The programme aims at improving incomes and food security of poor rural households that are engaged in the production, processing and marketing of cassava and rice on a sustainable basis. (NAN)