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Seven states to lose IFAD funding over deficit counterparts payment

By Abel Abogonye, Lafia
29 September 2022   |   2:31 am
Seven states may lose out on accessing International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) over non-payment of counterparts funds.

[FILES] Agriculture

Seven states may lose out on accessing International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) over non-payment of counterparts fund.

The technical mission Lead, Dr. Samuel Eremie, made this known in an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Lafia yesterday.

Eremie said that a joint implementation support mission team from the Federal Government is in the state to assess the level of implementation of the VCDP.

“One of the challenges the VCDP is facing is the failure of beneficiary states to pay their counterpart’s fund to enable them to access the fund from IFAD.

“We have about two more years to end the project. Fund not utilised would be cancelled by IFAD,” Eremie warned.

The team, however, appealed to defaulting states to redouble their effort to pay their counterpart’s fund to draw down the IFAD fund for farmers to benefit.

Eremie, however, commended Governor Abdullah Sule of Nasarawa for his commitment to payment of the 2019/2020 counterparts fund and his promise to pay 2021/2022.

He said that the team was impressed with the level of implementation of the VCDP in the state, which has improved the income of participants and contributed to food security in the state.

He noted that 7,000 households out of the projected 9,000, inclusive of women and youths in the five councils, have been profiled and are benefiting from the programme.

Some beneficiaries, who spoke, testified that the project has helped to improve their income and training in some modern agric methods, as well as the provision of improved seeds that have helped in bumper yields.

Challenges identified by both visiting team and stakeholders are poor access to roads to farm sites, poor power supply for processing, farmer-herder crisis and delay in disbursement of funds to beneficiaries.

The team appealed to states to work out modalities to resolve herder-farmers clashes capable of frustrating the programme.

The visiting team leader assured that by the November midterm review of the project, all the challenges would be presented, and solutions will be provided to ensure full implementation in the last face of the project before termination.