By Asmau Ahmad
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says it will disburse 1.7 million dollars to support farmers affected by floods in nine states of the country before ending of the year.
The intervention according to the organisation is to ameliorate flood impact on farmers and enable them to go into dry season farming, so as to enhance their income, boost production and ensure food security.
Dede Ekoue, IFAD Country Director said this on the sideline of the Federal Government/IFAD-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) Mid Term Review (MTR) Mission Stakeholders Wrap-Up Workshop, on Saturday in Abuja.
Ekoue who identified total flood recovery response for 2022 as $1.7 million, said the organisation had made an initial allocation of 600,000 dollars to farmers in some of the VCDP benefitting states.
According to her, the distribution of the fund in support of VCDP beneficiaries has already started for dry season farming in Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger Anambra, and Enugu States.
“The process will be accelerated this December and early next year.
“The 1.7 million dollars is coming from the regular funding of VCDP,” she said.
Ekoue explained that the gesture was in response to the yearnings of farmers in the course of MTR mission across the VCDP benefiting states in the country.
She said “what was important to farmers in the course of visitation is for them to adapt more to help them recover, while the second one is to continue to strengthen the marketing aspect especially for cassava.
“We noticed that there are more opportunities to strengthen the market aspect for cassava producers; for rice producers a lot of progress has been made.”
Dr Fatima Aliyu, National Programme Coordinator, IFAD-VCDP said through the intervention the organisation and the government will support each of the over 2,000 targeted farmers with 40kg of seed, four bags of NPK and two bags of Urea.
The farmers, according to her, will also be supported with two litres of herbicides and water pumps for each hectare of farmland that will be rehabilitated, capacity building and extension services.
“We are training them on good agronomic practices to be abreast on how to cultivate their crops in the dry season.
“We have been doing it but felt we should do more to enable them have a very bumper harvest,”
Dr Aisha Omar, Director, International Economic Relations Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said that the MTR was purposely to assess the performance of the project, determine challenges impeding implementation, relevance of different component and activities in view of current circumstances.
She said such will enable concerned organisations to decide “if there is the need to restructure the project”.
Omar assured that the department was committed to working with partners and project teams at States and Federal levels to meet the project development objectives and ensure value for money in those facilities obtained.
“The doors of my team are always opened to help the implementation unit resolve challenges and difficulties that might arise, “she said.
Omar however encouraged the project staff from participating states and at federal level to be dedicated to the implementation of the project and adhere to the procurement and financial management procedures of the fund, to avoid ineligible expenditure.
Dr Peter Kush, Deputy Director, Programme Coordinating Unit, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rura Development decried the devastating effect of flood on farmers.
“In the course of field work, we discovered that most of the project farmlands were washed away by the flood, some of the VCDP infrastructure submerged among others,” he said.