IFAD provides $50million additional financing for agriculture project
The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) has provided $50million in additional financing for the implementation of the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP)
The 6-year development program being implemented in 9 states including Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun, Taraba, Enugu, Nasarawa, and Kogi state is focused on supporting smallholder farmers to boost the production of rice and cassava.
The program which came into force in October 2013 was scheduled to end in 2018 but was provided with an additional financing of $89.1million in 2018 and another additional financing of $50million in 2019.
The IFAD Nigeria Country Director Ms Dede Ekoue while speaking at the IFAN/FGN 5th Supervisor Mission for the VCDP project yesterday in Abuja noted that IFAD and the federal government has been supporting smallholder farmers to boost food production, link them to market.
She mentioned that to deepen further and accelerate the implementation of projects n the benefiting state, IFAD has mobilized at least 7 international experts to work with staff of the VCDP project and farmers to provide technical guidance so that as to boost the result and achieve the full potential of the project.
Disclosing that the project implementation at August 31st 2022 is at 52percent achievement Ekoue said IFAD would continue to work on finding ways to scale up the financing, however, financing scale up is based on the benefiting state’s capacity to fully use the financing that they have and to also demonstrate impact on the fields.
She said that was why IFAD and the VCDP staff are going to the field to see how they can scale up the impact of the project.
The Senior Procurement Specialist IFAD for West and Central Africa Carine You’re noted that their mission is to provide support to ensure the VCDP project continues to support beneficiaries saying procurement is key in the project implementation as around 80% of the expenditures through that project are going through procurement. So if procurement is doing well, the project also will do well and the beneficiary will get the goods and services on time.
The Acting Director Project Coordinating Unit at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Peter Kush stated that the federal government decided to extend the program so as to make it all inclusive in terms of youth and gender participation and to also mainstream into areas like climate change and nutrition which are areas creating lots of effect due to the insecurity challenge in the country.
Also in his remark the Financial Controller VCDP Mr Usman Mohammed the project initially was to be complete by December 2022 but due to depletion of funds it was extended to 2024 and the Additional financing 1 will be closed June 2025 while the Additional financing 2 will end i December 2025 and it will close by June 30 2026.