The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said it budgeted an estimated sum of N56 million for the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), in Anambra for 2021 farming season.
IFAD-VCDP is a project in collaboration with Federal Government and the Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, to give wider opportunities to rice and cassava farmers in the country.
The State Programme Coordinator, VCDP, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha, made the disclosure at the flag-off and monitoring of the Value Chain Input Distribution Programme in Anambra on Friday.
The flag off took place at Umunze in Orumba South and Achalla in Awka North Local Government Areas of Anambra which witnessed distribution of certified rice seeds, cassava stems, NPK and Urea fertilizer and agro chemicals such as herbicide and pesticides.
Agwuncha said that the input distribution was an annual programme to ensure that farmers get and use quality and improved agro input to help increase their agricultural production and yields.
“The monetary value for this year’s input l distribution is estimated to about N56 million and our target is to make multiple of that amount at the end of this year’s farming season
“Our farmers performed well in the previous season but we hope they improve on their performance this season.
“On rice, we expect a minimum of five to seven metric tons per hectare, on the average. While in cassava, we are expecting between 25 to 30 metric tons per hectare on the average, ” he said.
Agwuncha said that IFAD-VCDP and the state government had constituted Farmers-Herders Conflict Resolution Committee to check all forms of invasion on farmlands to curb the atrocities of suspected herdsmen in the state.
He also encouraged farmers to take up agricultural insurance policy to
get insurance cover against unforeseen disasters and attacks that might lead to losses.
“We are in partnership with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation to make the policy affordable to farmers.
“The federal government is paying 50 per cent, the state government is paying 25 per cent while the farmers are expected to pay the remaining 25 per cent. So, it’s very affordable and plans are underway to sensitise farmers on the benefits, ” he said
Also speaking, Agricultural Production Adviser, IFAD, Dr Victor Onanma, urged the farmers to judiciously utilise the agricultural input distributed to boost their production and harvest.
Onanma who spoke on behalf of
the National Programme Coordinator IFAD-VCDP, Mr Garba Bala, said that IFAD worked with nationally recognised agro dealers who produce quality fertilisers and agro chemicals.
“There is threat of food insecurity which will lead to hunger in the country; and this is as result of incessant farmers- herders clashes.
“Also, the demand for rice and cassava is high now. I urge you to make good use of these input and not sell them, to improve productivity, family income, standard of living and food security,” Onanma said.
In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba, expressed satisfaction with IFAD-VCDP intervention to rice and cassava farmers in Anambra.
“Agriculture is key to this administration; that is why we will continue to support IFAD-VCDP to drive its activities for the benefit of farmers and agricultural stakeholders, “he said.
Dr Emmanuel Nwagwu, who spoke on behalf of the Farmers’ Association, appreciated the IFAD, the federal and state government for supporting farmers in the state.
According to him, the impact of IFAD support on capacity building on the best agronomic practices, improved seedlings and inputs have resulted in improved productivity in rice and cassava farming.