The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) on Friday distributed fertilizer and other farm inputs to 447 poor rural rice and cassava farmers in Taraba.
Speaking at the ceremony in Jalingo, the Acting National Programme Coordinator (NPC) of VCDP, Dr. Fatima Aliyu explained that the idea was made possible through IFAD’s COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility grant.
Aliyu said the facility grant to VCDP through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was meant to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on poor rural farmers.
Represented by Mr Musa Dalang, the National RIGYMO of VCDP, explained that the grant was meant for farmers in nine states of, Enugu, Kogi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Benue, Niger, Ogun, Taraba and Ebonyi.
He commended Gov Darius Ishaku for his continued support to VCDP programmes in the state.
Earlier, Mr Irimiya Musa, the state Programme Coordinator (SPC) noted that the programme funded by the tripartite arrangement of FGN, IFAD and the participating states was aimed at changing the fortunes of the poor farmers captured on VCDP data base.
Irimiya noted that the farmers cut across the eight VCDP intervening Local Government councils in Taraba including, Ardokola, Gassol, Bali, Donga, Jalingo, Karim-Lamido, Takum and Wukari.
“The main objective of the programme is to enhance on a sustainable basis. The incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in the state,” he said.
Mr Saleh Pavali, the representative of the Taraba Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources lauded VCDP for recording so much success in rice and cassava production in the state.
“IFAD VCDP has achieved much in the field of implementation of its activities which increased yield in rice production from 1.75 metric tonnes per hectare to 4.8 metric tonnes per hectare for rainy season farming,” he said.