The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has distributed farm inputs to 188 benefiting farmers in Ebonyi.
Mr Sunday Ituma, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC) of IFAD-VCDP made the disclosure in Abakaliki during the official flag-off of the 2022 west season input distribution, to beneficiary farmers organisations.
Ituma said that the programme was in collaboration with the Federal Goverment of Nigeria and the input distribution was under its matching grant scheme.
“The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic made us support 188 farmers in 2022 in contrast to the much we supported in the past.
“This is still not a small support as it still amounts to over N20million.
“The farmers would pay 50 per cent of accessed inputs while IFAD-VCDP will contribute the balance of 50 per cent under the matching grant scheme.
He said that the benefitting farmers cultivating rice would each receive 4 bags of NPK brand of fertilizer and two bags of the urea brand of the product.
“Each of them would still receive one bag of 50 kg improved rice seedlings and agro chemicals each.
“The farmers cultivating cassava would access improved cuttings, four bags of fertilizer and agro chemicals each.
Dr Fatima Aliyu, IFAD-VCDP National Programme Coordinator commended the Ebonyi goverment for its numerous support to the programme especially the resourcefulness of respective commissoners for agriculture.
Aliyu represented by Dr Chyka Unanma, the programme’s Agricultural Production Advisor said that Ebonyi plays a leading role in IFAD-VCDP activities due to its comparative advantage in rice and cassava.
Prof. Humphrey Nwobashi,
the State Commissoner for Agriculture and Natural Resources urged the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the inputs to enhance the state’s agricultural wellbeing.
“I urge IFAD-VCDP to evaluate the actual performances of past beneficiaries to ascertain those who are performing optimally, averagely or poorly.
“This will enable us ascertain areas of support or improvement and not the generalisation that everyone was doing.
Mr Okike Onwuasoanya, General Manager of state Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) commended IFAD -VCDP for its unity of purpose which has enhanced agriculture in Ebonyi and other participating states of the country.
Mrs Stella Mbam, one of the beneficiaries thanked IFAD-VCDP for the gesture and pledged to judiciously utilise them.