By SUNDAY AGBO, ABAKALIKI
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) says it is targeting to inject N5billion into the economy of Ebonyi state in 2017.
The State Programme Coordinator (SPC), Mr. Sunday Ituma, said this at Ezillo, Ishiellu Local Government Area of the state during the 5th IFAD/Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) supervision smssion visit to Ebonyi State.
Ituma noted that the figure would be an improvement of the N4billion it injected into Ebonyi State’s economy in 2016, adding that it targets to distribute farm inputs to 8,000-10,000 farmers in the state in 2017.
“We intend to contribute 35,000 metric tones of rice paddy to the state’s economy as the recommendations of the supervision mission will be judiciously implemented to improve on our performances.
He noted that the cooperation from the state government has been instrumental to IFAD-VCDP’s success in the state, noting that the farmers on their part have shown great commitment to take agriculture as a profitable business venture. The supervision mission’s leader, Dr. Oyeshola Oyebanji, noted that IFAD–VCDP conducts assessment of its performances in participating states, twice a year after the approval of their work plan and budgets.
“We can attest that our office in Ebonyi has performed tremendously and we specially thank the state government for its support which has been remarkable.
He however, stated that IFAD targets a bumper harvest in Ebonyi state in 2017 as the team was satisfied with the input distribution system and the administration of the cooperative groups in the state.
A Consultant to IFAD, Prof. Jones Nlemchi on his part commented that the programme seeks to make the youths, embrace agriculture as a business oriented venture and would support any farming technology that will reduce cost per–unit output of farmers.
The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources,
Chief Moses Ogodo-Ali Nome, said that IFAD contributed tremendously to the agricultural success recorded in the state in2016.
“We hope that IFAD would continue enhancing the production skills of our farmers through the intervention of its technical experts as we would also continue supporting the programme.
A farmer in Ikwo LGA of the state, Mr. Jude Igberi thanked IFAD for its intervention in the agricultural wellbeing of farmers in the state, admitting that their wellbeing has been enhanced through its activities.
The supervision mission team visited rice and cassava production groups and farms in Izzi, Ikwo and Ishiellu LGAs of the state as the programme is currently administered in five out of the 13 local government areas of the state.