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More Nigerians benefit from IFAD support projects


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The International Fund for Agricultural Development said yesterday that about 9.2 million out of the 14. 2 million Nigerians targeted have benefitted from its development projects across the county in the last 30 years.The agency said that over $317. 6 million has been spent in financing 10 projects in Nigeria.

The Director of IFAD’s West and Central Africa Division, Ides de Willebois, said this in Abuja on Thursday at the presentations of its findings by the Independent Office of Evaluation of the agency.

Willebois, said the projects have improved the livelihoods of rural poor people and strengthened their food production systems in a number of impoverished, remote communities.

He said that the evaluation was carried out to assess the results and performance of the IFAD-Government partnership in reducing rural poverty and to generate findings and recommendations for the future partnership between IFAD and Nigeria.Willebois said: “The evaluation found that the programme targeted poverty reasonably well.”

During the period covered by the evaluation, 2009-2015, IFAD-funded operations focused on the poorest states in the country, and have effectively provided support to poorer northern states.

“The evaluation has allowed us to reflect on the impact of our work in areas such as community-driven development. IFAD’s support in community-driven development activities has been particularly successful, especially with community development associations, linked to local government authorities and that continue to function after the project completion.

“Notable achievements were recorded with regard to access to financial services, community capacity-building and job creation. The benefits derived, in terms of building assets and disseminating technology, were visible and, according to a field survey conducted by the evaluation team, are well sustained. Local governments continued funding community activities beyond the lifetime of IFAD’s support.”

Earlier, Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation, Oscar Garcia, noted that the scale of the impact of the projects on Nigerians remained limited.

He blamed it on the size of the country, adding that overall statistics on poverty showed an increasing divide between the urban and rural areas and wealthy and poor people.

Garcia said: “In particular, the evaluation highlighted the need for a more strategic approach to partnership-building at federal and state levels and that IFAD expand its existing partnerships as well as develop new ones.

“A missing partner, particularly in the earlier IFAD-supported operations, has been the private sector. Its involvement is crucial given the move towards markets and processing across the portfolio.

“It is necessary to mobilize a range of public-private partnerships around fertilizer, seeds and processing in line with the approach stipulated by Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).”

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