By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government in collaboration with Partnership Engagement, Reform and Learn (Perl) Engaged Citizens a DFID, project with Support from USAID on Thursday held a one day Public Policy Dialogue (PPD) on Agric inputs through Rural and Community Development ‘Value Kits’, as part of efforts to sustain and enhance the project.
The meeting was aimed at creating platform for citizens and government to interact on Agric issues, share experiences on the ‘Value Kits’, successes, challenges and opportunities and to also get citizens feedback on the ‘Value Kits’.
‘Value Kits’ are packages of maize and other agricultural complementary products that where distributed to rural farmers in three community of Banki in Kubau, Ungwan Waha
la in Kajuru and Ungwan Moro’ a in Jema’a in Kaduna State to enhance the yield of prestigious maize farming technology that have numerous advantages.
In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Rural and Community Development, Engr. Usman Mahmoud Hassan, said program is designed is such a way that it will continue for a long time.
“It is a programme that is touching the lives of rural dwellers, if it is successful no doubt it will be scaled-up and progressively it can be integrated in the ministry.
The Commissioner is however worried by the attitude of some farmers who are yet to meet their part of the bargain by providing two bag each from their harvest to enable the state scale-up the project by extending it to other community to benefit from.
According to him, there are plans already to scale-up the program during the 2018 planting season into six more community, but lamented that if the farmers who benefitted from the pilot scheme refused to make return, he will advice government not to continue the project in their communities.
He assured that the ministry will sustain both the program and dialogue will continue as the Ministry scales up the value kits provision to six more locations.
In his brief remarks, State Team Leader of PERL-EC, Abel Adejor, noted that part of his organization’s job is to provide support for the government and ensure that services are delivered to the citizens.
He added that the meeting will also enable famers who has benefitted from the program to showcase the ‘value kit’ piloted in their communities.
He said it will also give the opportunity to ascertain the level of successes recorded and share accordingly with participants and to identify the challenges encountered in the course of implementation to identify opportunities with the view of improving crop yield and value chain.
On their part, beneficiaries of the programme who took turn to speak one after the other, thanked the government for the gesture.
They however urged government to ensure timely distribution of the ‘value kits’ to enable them start planting on time in other to avoid some of their better experience of crop lost to pests and worms.