World Bank, FG to Plant 1,000 Hectares of Cassava in Kogi State

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The World Bank, in conjunction with the federal government, will soon commence the planting of 1,000 hectares of cassava in Kogi State under the Fadama III additional financing programme.

World Bank Task Team Leader for Fadama III in Nigeria, Dr Abimbola Adubi, disclosed this during inspection visits to Ogale and Ire-Suare cassava farms in Ijumu and Adavi local government areas of the state.

Adubi said the bank had been able to experiment with 100 hectares of cassava farms in the state on a 25-hectare per location in Ogale, Ire-Suare, Alape and Magongo using small holder farmers.

“I’m impressed with what I have seen. We are thinking of planting about 1,000 hectares of cassava using small holder farmers. What we have been able to do is to start with 100 hectares using cluster farmer groups. Fadama III was able to assist the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the federal government,” he said

Adubi called on the farmers to view agriculture from the perspective of business which they could use to train their children in school, build houses and live comfortably just like those who are working for government and other institutions.

On the possibility of a market for the cassava being produced, he said there is going to be a staple crop processing zone in the area with Cargill and some other manufacturing factories coming to Kogi.

Earlier, the chairman of the small holder cluster farmers at Ire-Suare 25-hectare cassava farm, Malam Sadiku Otaru, said though the cassava stem cuttings for planting were of good specie, the supplier supplied the third batch in December when the soil no longer had moisture.

Also at Ogale, chairman of the 25-member farmers’ association, Chief Vincent Adesina said though the fertilizers and agro-chemicals came early, last batch of the cuttings came late resulting in cumulative loss of two hectares.

The traditional ruler of Ogale, Kabiyesi Michael Otitoju said farmers in the area have no problem with Fulani herdsmen as some of the herdsmen were members of the farmers’ association and commended the federal government and World Bank for the project.

The team was on the 2nd Joint World Bank/FGN supervision mission on the implementation of Fadama III additional financing project in the state.

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