FGN/IFAD-VCDP Distribute Farm Input to 534 Farmers to Boost Rice Production in Kogi

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By Stephen Adeleye.

The Federal Government through its Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP-AF) assisted by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has distributed input to 534 farmers to boost rice production in Kogi State.

The items distributed include: NPK and Urea fertilisers, selective and non selective herbicides, free energy water pump and solar-powered water pump and high quality rice seeds.

Speaking at flag-off ceremony on Monday in Lokoja, tagged: “2023/2024 Dry Season Input Distribution To VCDP Rice Farmers”, the National Programme Coordinator, IFAD-VCDP, Dr Fatima Aliyu, said the gesture was to boost rice production amidst the economic hardships in the country.

Aliyu, who was represented by Alh. Nurudeen Tafida, the National Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, stressed that the gesture was to enhance the economic base of Kogi as well the country at large.

She appreciated Kogi State Government as key stakeholder in giving the programme strong support which according to her, has achieved tremendous success in the state.

She commended the farmers for their cooperation and participation for the past four years of the VCDP programme in the state.

“The objective of dry season input distribution to farmers is to ensure food security on continuous basis, increase productivity and keep rice production going all through the year.

“In doing this, we must continue to supply high quality seeds to farmers, so that we will continue to have enough food to eat in Kogi and even sell to other States of the country.

“We have to think out of the box to enhance value Chain food production through the continuous support to our farmers especially at the grassroots,” Aliyu said.

She advised the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the input so as to improve food production and ensure food security especially in the present economic hardships the nation was passing through.

The Kogi Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Timothy Ojomah, who flagged off the input distribution, commended the federal government and IFAD-VCDP for the initiative to empower farmers for due season farming in the state.

Ojoma assured of the commitment of the State Government under the leadership of Gov. Ahmed Ododo, to continue to provide maximum support to all farmers in the state.

“As a government, we will continue to create the conducive environment and give all the necessary support to ensure that our farmers are well empowered for maximum food production in the state,” Ojoma said.

On her part, the State Programme Coordinator, Dr Stella Adejoh, said the IFAD-VCDP was giving support to farmers across the five benefitting local government areas of Kogi State to increase rice yield.

According to her, a total of 534 rice farmers would benefit in the 2023/2024 dry season input distribution in Lokoja, Ajaokuta, Olamaboro, Kabba-Bunu and Ibaji Local Government Areas.

She emphasised that the initiative was meant to cushion the effect of the present economic hardships in the nation, and improve the livelihoods and living conditions of the farmers.

She noted that VCDP had empowered farmers through lots of training, financial inclusion services, gender and youth empowerment, plugging market leakages and improved production and processing activities along Agricultural value chain in the state.

She expressed optimism that there would be a bumper harvest of rice in Kogii and by extension Nigeria amidst the current economic hardships.

She implored the farmers to effectively utilise the input in order to achieve the desire objectives of boosting rice production and ensuring food security in the state.

Dr Adejoh stressed that the Kogi VCDP office had already taken the ‘Coordinates’ of farmlands of all the beneficiaries to ensure proper and effective monitoring.

Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs Victoria Enebi, Samuel Ayuba and Mrs Olushola Adetunji, from Ajaokuta, Lokoja and Kabba-Bunu respectively, thanked the VCDP for the initiative to boost their rice production.

“We thank the VCDP for always supporting us with various farm inputs and other empowerment programmes from time to time in the state,” Ayuba said.

“With the help of these input, we will be able to do better and improve our rice production as well as our wellbeing and livelihoods,” Adetunji said.

“We are very happy and grateful to the federal and state governments, the IFAD-VCDP for this wonderful program,” Enebi said.

They promised not to sell the input but to effectively use them to expand their farmlands thereby improving their production and standard of living.


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