IFAD invests $604.6m in Agric developments in 28 states
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has disclosed that it has invested $604.6 million (N277.84 billion) in the agricultural sector of 28 states in Nigeria to enhance the development of the sector.
He said the investments included domestic and international co-financing between 2016 and 2023 in the affected states.
Speaking yesterday at a two-day regional consultative workshop in Maiduguri, the Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser of IFAD, Abdulhameed Girai, disclosed that over 5.2 million persons across 28 states of the country benefitted from the intervention programmes initiated by IFAD.
According to him, the two-day Regional Consultative workshop was organised to chart the path for Nigeria’s 2024 to 2029 implementation of agricultural projects.
He said the beneficiaries were engaged under the Country Strategic Opportunities programme (COSOP) in the last seven years.
“IFAD is providing viable interventions to support farmers and facilitate sustainable agricultural development in the country,” he said.
On the various agricultural programmes to be executed, he said: “They included Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP); Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Programme (LIFE-ND and the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ).”
He said the beneficiaries had also been engaged in other IFAD’s intervention programmes such as Creating Employment Opportunities for Rural Youths in Africa.
According to him, the interventions were meant to support the integration of agribusiness hubs in the targeted 28 states.
“There would be the implementation of Youth Empowerment in Agri-Business and Sustainable Agriculture Projects (YEASA), Promoting Sustainable Cage Agriculture in West Africa (pro-SCAWA) as well as agricultural transformation in Nigeria towards achieving zero hunger initiatives,” he added.
He added that FGN/IFAD projects had supported and strengthened 4,464 farmer organisations, 51,415 rural producers, 3,761 marketing groups, 240 Community Development Associations (CDAs) and the establishment of 138 Financial Saving Associations.
He said the aim of the workshop was to interact and get feedback from stakeholders, government officials, farmers and youths on how to improve the next programme between 2024 and 2029.
IFAD’s Financial Inclusion Specialist, Yusuf Halliru, said the exercise was designed to allow for consultations to fast track implementation of the programme.
On his part, Programme Manager, Borno State Agricultural Development Programme, Alhaji Darma Muhammad, said the workshop would chart a way towards achieving greater goals of the IFAD programme.
He said the programme had raised agricultural productivity and improved income generation of 200,000 farmers in the state.