7,749 Nasarawa farmers laud FG, IFAD over improved livelihood
No fewer than 7,749 farmers that specialise in rice and cassava farming in Nasarawa State have commended the Federal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD) for using the Value Chain Development Programme, (VCDP) to improve their livelihood.
The farmers, who are located in five local councils in the state, said that the programme had helped to improve their farming business through training and provision of farm tools and improved seed support.
Some of the farmers, who spoke in Hausa language, said there had been a huge difference in their livelihood since they keyed into the programme based on the knowledge acquired through basic training received from IFAD.
They, however, promised that that the knowledge acquired would be passed on to other farmers.
Also, the Treasurer, Ozanawa Multipurpose Co-operative, Mercy Oganji, who spoke with The Guardian, said: “We got to know about VCDP as a co-operative organisation, which we linked up with VCDP.
“We are 41 members in the co-operative, and we cultivate rice.
“Some of our members even harvested over 200 bags of rice. We sell 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 co-operative, and this has really impacted positively on our business as an organisation.
“The profit had improved our livelihood, hence training our children in school and good feeding.”
Oganji appealed to VCDP to continue to assist them in order to expand on cassava and rice production.
Meanwhile, the National Co-ordinator, VCDP, Dr. Fatima Aliyu, has disclosed that the Federal Government, IFAD and VCDP, would reduce the N6 billion spent yearly on rice importation.
Aliyu, represented by the Knowledge Communication and Advisor, Vera Onyeka-Onyilo, VCDP, stated this in her address at a media roundtable held in Lafia, Nasarawa State yesterday.