As many as 120 poor rural rice farmers in Nasarawa State received input support from the Federal Fund for Agricultural Development (- VCDP) assisted Value Chain Development Program (- VCDP) on Saturday.
Dr. Fatima Aliyu, national coordinator of the VCDP program, inaugurated the distribution of agricultural inputs, including improved rice seeds and fertilizers in Lafia.
Represented by Ms. Vera Onyilo, the VCDP Knowledge Management and Communications Advisor, the National Coordinator said that the beneficiaries were the most vulnerable rice farmers in their communities.
They were from Lafia, Doma, Nasarawa and Wamba Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
She said the 120 beneficiaries included 77 women and 43 rice farmers.
According to Aliyu, the distribution was made possible through the grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility.
She explained that the VCDP is housed in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to improve incomes and food security.
“The project aims to improve the incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava on a sustainable basis.
“2,793 vulnerable farmers from Nasarawa, Enugu, Kogi, Anambra, Benue, Niger, Taraba, Ebonyi and Ogun states would benefit from the arrangement to ensure food security in the country,” the national coordinator added.
In addition, Dr. Eunice Adgidzi, Nasarawa State Coordinator of VCDP, said the 120 farmers received 3,800 kg of improved rice seed (faro 44), 315 bags of fertilizer (NPK and urea) and 120 liters of selective and non-selective seeds. herbicides.
Adigidzi said the initiative aims to alleviate the pains and sufferings of the poorest of the poor rice farmers in the rural areas of the state.
“It is expected to stimulate and invigorate selected vulnerable rice farmers in the four beneficiary LGAs whose livelihoods and incomes have been most affected and aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We assure our HQ and other supporting partners that they should prepare for great results and better output from Nasarawa State,” she added.
She therefore promised that they would provide quality extension services to ensure that the grant target was met.
For his part, Nuhu Oshafu, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, commended FG and IFAD for the VCDP and pledged continued support to ensure the success of the programme.
The commissioner represented by Nuhu Bunu, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said the administration headed by Governor Abdullahi Sule had prioritized agriculture as part of efforts to make the state a center for investment.
He explained that the state government is willing to work with development partners to improve agriculture to meet global standards in terms of quantity and quality of food production.
The Commissioner therefore called on the grantees to use the inputs to achieve the best result in accordance with the objectives of the grant.
Responding on behalf of the farmers, Kasimu Soja, thanked the government for its support and promised to use it wisely. . (