Enugu State Government has urged the International Funds for Agricultural Development, IFAD to expand it’s areas of coverage in the state, increase it’s financial support to enable the state boost it’s agricultural production.
The State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah made the appeal when he received the10Th FGN/IFAD Supervision Mission Team,, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Wednesday, September 13..
Governor Mbah noted that Enugu state was working closely with IFAD and value chain development.
He said that his administration will ensure enhancement of income for the rural dwellers and create food security .
“Beyond food security, we are looking at also, export. The objective of FGN/IFAD program generally, is something that we are very much interested in . We have made humongous projection of where you will see Enugu in the next Forty years and a lot of that will come from Agriculture and agro-allied sector.and we believe that the sort of patnership we have with IFAD will continue.”, he said that.
Highlighting some of his plans in agriculture, Governor Mbah said, “We want to unlock our rural economy and we want to scale up our production and in scaling up our production, it means that we have to add value to add up the state’s GDP..”
The governor advocated for increase in funding to accommodate construction of access roads to the farmlands. He also advocated for expansion of local government areas being covered, from five local government areas to more, inorder to scale up production across the state; scaling up production of cassava and rice.
He announced his plan to build world class rice processing Mill in the state to scale up production of rice..
” We want to reassure you of our commitment , whatever inputs we are getting from IFAD program ,is for us, an addition to our viisious programs in the agriculture sector. We already have agriculture constituting over 60%. to our GDP”, he said.
The Governor disclosed that the state government had set aside over 300,000 hectres of land for farming..
He promised that the objectives of the state’s collaboration with IFAD ,would be achieved.
Earlier, the country director of IFAD, Dede Ekoue, said that they were launching the tenth supervision mission for the value added chain development’ programme by the federal government of Nigeria , IFAD and in Enugu state by Enugu state.
She said that the programme in Enugu was reaching more than 5,000 farmers, among which more than 50% were women and more than 30% were young farmers , producers , processors and traders.
The Country Director, commended Governor Mbah, for paying all the counterpart funding, which she said, would allow the program to scale up it’s impacts.
She added that the governor’s commitment in paying the counterpart funding demonstrates his agenda of zero percent poverty.
“This release of the counterpart funding demonstrates your strong commitments
to fighting rural poverty.
“We knew that your agenda is to have zero percent poverty, but this payment also is a clear signal of your determination to revitalize Agricultural and agro industry”,. Ekove said.
The Country Director stated that the project did not achieve positive performance alone, but, took the commitment of the Governor’s services and the strong investments of the farmers , producers and processors, so they will continue to leverage on the strength of Enugu state to achieve results.
Gov .Mbah and the IFAD team
She disclosed that the three things the federal government would be looking at are, the positives, the progress made by the state, and the challenges . Ekove added that together with all the actors, the state, the local government, and the beneficiaries ( farmers),could proffer solution to the challenges. so they could unleash the challenges of agriculture and agro-industry in Enugu state.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama