Federal Government of Nigeria and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) (FGN/IFAD VCDP) has flagged off the distribution of agro input and farm equipment for 2023/2024 dry season farming to farmers in Enugu State.
The items distributed include NPK fertilizers, Urea, Rice seeds, chemicals: selective and non-selective, solar panel for water pumps, water pumps, knapsack sprayers, transplanters, weighing scales etc.
Speaking at the event held in Enugu weekend, the National Programme Coordinator, Dr. Fatima Aliyu commended Enugu State Government for engaging in the Programme.
She said Enugu, Kogi and Nasarawa states were included to the existing five states of Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba running the program.
Aliyu applauded the VCDP implementors in the State. She expressed gratitude with what has been done in Enugu state and prayed that they maintain the heights.
Dr. Aliyu who was ably represented by the National Agricultural Production Advisor (APA), Mallam Nura Lawal Daura urged the beneficiaries to make adequate use of the inputs and equipment.
She said, “The supports which came in two forms; the conventional dry season farming and the additional dry season farming are to try as much as possible to support farmers especially those that had the devastating experience of 2023 flood. The idea is to intensify dry season farming.
Earlier, the State Programme Coordinator, Dr. Edward C. Isiwu commended the State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah for his efforts in sustaining the Programme in the State through the payment of the Counterpart fund.
“What we are here to do today is to give to farmers all these inputs and equipment for them to launch into their farms now for dry season rice production. These agro inputs are meant for rice production farmers in Aninri, Isi Uzo and Nkanu East out of the five LGAs we are working with,” Isiwu said .
He added that the State Programme has done it in 2021 and recorded bountiful harvest. Same was done in 2022 and with Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) that was deployed, it was bountiful.
“Flagging off the 2023/2024 dry season farming today is to enable the farmers launch into their farms in three days time with all these inputs”, he said
He told the farmers, that in one or two months time , the National office will be coming to inspect what they have done in their respective farms. He called on the farmers to be diligent, assuring them that anything meant for them must surely come to them.
He demonstrated the accomplishment of the Programme in building projects meant for farmers at different places of the five Local Government Areas.
Flagging off the event, Enugu state Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah ,who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro Industrialization, Hon. Patrick Ubru , who in turn,was represented by the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Victor Ugwu, re-assured the State Government’s commitment in making Enugu state food basket of the Nation.
He thanked the National Programme Coordinator for the speedy approval of all requests that came to her table. He also charged the farmers not to disappoint the National Coordinator, the State Governor and State Coordinator for all they have done for them.
Pix- Beneficiaries and the items
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the chairperson of Chikwado Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Amechi Idodo, Nkanu East Local Government Area, , Enugu State, Mrs. Ngozi Eze, expressed gratitude to the Programme implementors ,for keeping to their words.
She said, “I was supported last year for dry season farming which was my first time to plant rice in dry season. After the harvest, the yield was so massive that I got more than 6tonnes in an hectare. With this support again, I know it will be exceptional. So I am using this opportunity to appreciate IFAD through the Coordinator of VCDP in the State for reducing rural poverty and increasing food security through their various supports to the farmers.
In a vote of thanks, the State Agric Production officer, Emmanuel Agbo appreciated the State Programme Coordinator for ensuring that everything meant for VCDP farmers in Enugu State got to them promptly. He called on farmers to scale up their efforts in order to have bountiful harvests as the Coordinator earlier prayed for.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama