NIGERIA. Niger State: The Federal government of Nigeria IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has distributed N26 million farm inputs to 616 farmers for the 2021 wet season farming.
Flagging off the wet season input distribution to farmers in Mokwa local government area of Niger state, the Niger state VCDP Coordinator, Dr Mathew Ahmed said that the programme is supporting 616 rice and cassava farmers in three local government areas of the state.
According to him, IFAD had planned to support about 10,000 farmers but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Organization had to divert its funds to most pandemic ravaged countries to help fight the virus.
Ahmed said that 616 hectares of farmland would be covered in this phase adding that it would also encourage farmers to look inward and source for funding for their farming.
He said that, unlike the past where IFAD pays 50 per cent of the inputs, this year, IFAD will be paying 30 per cent while the farmers will pay 70 per cent for the inputs being given to them
“To this end, we are selling the rice seeds at N500, a bag of fertilizer at N10,000 and cassava stems at N800.”
The state Coordinator then warned against diversion of the agricultural inputs to enable them to get the needed potential of the inputs being given to them.
In a related development, the state FADAMA has distributed agricultural inputs to 125 beneficiaries of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) in 25 local government areas of the state.
Speaking at the flag-off of 2021 Agriculture inputs distribution to N-CARES beneficiaries at the FADAMA office in Minna, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Haliru Jikantoro said that the goal of the NCARES programme is to increase food security and safe functioning of food supply chains.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Idris Usman Gbogan appealed to the beneficiaries not to sell the inputs given to them adding that they would be making a mistake if they sell the inputs as it would defeat the objective of the project.
“The Project development objective is to protect livelihoods and food security of poor and vulnerable families and facilitate recovery of local economic activity in all participating states across Nigeria.
“The agricultural livelihoods and food security support under the N-CARES will include investments and policy measures to mitigate impacts on agricultural livelihoods, enhance their resilience to economic shocks, and facilitate faster recovery to lay thefoundations for agriculture value chains to generate more and better jobs.”
The Niger state FADAMA N-CARES Coordinator, Dr Hassan Garba Kontagora said that each beneficiary will be supported with four 50kg bags of NPK fertilizers, two 50kg bags of urea fertilizer, four litters of herbicide, a litter of pesticide and 25 to 50kg of rice, maize and sorghum seeds depending on the farmer’s enterprise.
“In short, we are distributing 37.5 metric tonnes of NPK and Urea fertilizers, 3.8 metric tonnes of rice, maize and sorghum seed, and 500 and 125 litters of herbicide and insecticide.
He explained that the N-CARES project is aimed to protect livelihoods and food security of poor and vulnerable families and facilitate recovery of local economic activity in the state.
Garba also said that the Nigeria CARES Result Area two intervention in the State is in four Disbursement Link Indicators (DLIs) which include the provision of agricultural inputs and services, improved agricultural infrastructure, provision of agricultural assets and small primary processing, and wet markets with water and sanitary services.