BY; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The International Funds for Agricultural Development, (IFAD) has constructed a multi million naira modern cassava processing mill for women cassava farmers in Wushishi, Niger State.
The fund is an international development partner for agricultural development. State governments who leverage on the windows opened by the fund, make counterparts funds contributions to draw down from the cobtributed funds for agricultural development in their states.
The IFAD has been assisting farmers in the state for the development of value chains in agricultural spheres. State who are keyed into the funds common basket, are privileged to draw assistance to support agricultural production for greater developments and empowerment of it’s citizens.
Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso who commissioned the cassava processing mill located at Lokogoma area in Wushishi local government area of the state, said the state government has made its counterparts fund payment of N87 million to the common basket with the IFAD.
He said with the payment of the counterpart funds, more farmer beneficiaries from across the state could now benefit from the IFAD’s activities in the state particularly in the production of rice and cassava, two cash and food crops that are staple foods amongst Nigerians.
Ketso assured that the state would continue to collaborate with all development partners to enhance the development of the state especially in its quest for food sufficiency and security.
The Deputy Governor charged farmers in the state to leverage on the window of opportunity opened by the IFAD to increase food production and expand the agricultural food chains in the state, enrich themselves and conversely increase the revenue generation capacities of their council areas.
The country national programme coordinator of IFAD, Dr. Onoja Onoja had in his message at the commissioning, noted that the fund was committed to improve on the economic status of particularly small scale farmers by encouraging them to increase their agricultural productivities through the agricultural value chains to promote food sufficiency in the state and for export.
Onoja was represented by Dr. Samuel Nagenu who added the IFAD was equally determined to improve on the quality and quantity of food production by locals even as he stated that IFAD has improved seeds for rice and cassava for greater yields.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development in Niger state, Nuhu Haruna Duku said his Ministry was assisting local farmers to source for ready funds to improve on their production and source for markets for their farm produce.