Nigeria: Agribusiness – Nasarawa Farmers Hail Govt, IFAD Over Improved Livelihood

SMALLHOLDER farmers, weekend, hailed the Federal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, for using the Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, to improve their livelihood.

Some of the farmers who spoke in Hausa language said there have been a huge difference in their livelihood since they keyed into the programme they have improved as cultivation of rice and cassava based on the knowledge acquired through basic training received from IFAD.

Also, they stated that the knowledge acquired will be passed on to other farmers, and added that now smallholder farmers in Doma and other local government areas under the programme are recording high yields.

According to them their profitability also recorded high increase as they smile to the bank.

Speaking with Vanguard, the Treasurer, Ozanawa Multipurpose Cooperative, Mercy Oganji, said, “We got to know about VCDP as a cooperative organisation, which we linked up with VCDP.

“We are 41 members in the cooperative, and we cultivate rice.

“We were able purchase a plot of farmland through VCDP along Lafia Road, for our business.

“Some of our members even harvested over 200 bags of rice. We sold a bag of rice for N20,000.

“Before we came in contact with VCDP, our productivity was low and we were not able to harvest this much. Now we have doubled what we used to get.

“VCDP has really helped women who are members of our cooperative, and this has really impacted positively on our business as an organization.

“We travel to Lagos and Onitsha to buy goods and sell here, and we make profit, and this profit had improved our livelihood, hence training our children in school and good feeding.”

She also said the cooperative members are ingo cassava production under VCDP.

However, she (Oganji) appealed to VCDP to still assist them in order to expand on cassava and rice production.

“We want more farmlands so we can do our business”, said.

Meanwhile, she expressed confidence that if VCDP closes they will continue with the knowledge acquired to boost their productivity and also train other smallholder farmers.

Meanwhile, it was also made known by the National Coordinator, FG-IFAD, Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, Dr Fatima Aliyu, who was represented by Knowledge Management and Communications Advisor, IFAD, Vera Onyeka-Onyilo, that Nasarawa State, the Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with IFAD had empowered about 7,749 rice and cassava farmers in five Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State with farm inputs and equipment VCDP.

According to Aliyu, the 7,749 farmers were those who benefited from July 2020 when the programme commenced in Nasarawa State to June 2022.

The five benefitting LGAs include Lafia, Doma, Wamba, Karu and Nasarawa.

She also expressed optimism that more lives of rural women will be transformed

Aliyu said: “After this inspection we will also ensure these rural women’s lives are transformed.

“What we have done is to build a market infrastructure for them. At this processing centre we are going to provide the equipment and also support them to package their processed and finished rice including branding in order for them to sell at competitive market price.

“We are already meeting our target in Nasarawa State. In projects such as this there is what we call project life indicator meaning that over the course of the project there are different targets par year.

“For the VCDP we are on course and we will achieve the target. The VCDP-AF this is the first phase.

“We are also going to have as they progress, demonstrate progress we are going to upscale into three new more local government areas in Nasarawa State so that the transformation of the rural poor can be enhanced.

“Presently, we are working in five local government areas in Nasarawa State”, she said.

According to her, the programme started in July 2020 in Nasarawa State, and the project is expected to close by 2025.

However, she added that it is expected as the programme records more successes, the government is to expand it to other local government areas to address the issue of poverty, boost food security and nutrition.


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