Agric Project Boosts Nigeria Economy With $68.9m – IFAD
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has contributed $68.9 million to the nation’s economy since inception in 2014, its National Programme Coordinator, Dr. Ameh Onoja has said.
Onoja spoke at a workshop organised by IFAD in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) on Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF), yesterday in Abuja.
He said the incremental revenue was from annual sale of 140, 000 Metric tons (Mt) of Rice and 30, 000mt of Cassava through strong private sector participation.
“Through this model, the programme has doubled farmer’s income and created a reliable and sustainable raw materials supply system to processors in the participating states.
“The key private sector drivers of the platform are major off-takers like OLAM in Benue and Taraba, Onyx in Niger, Popular farms and FTK Cassava Mills in Taraba, Ebonyi Rice World in Ebonyi, Harvest Feeds and Agro-Processing Limited in Ogun and JOSAN Nigeria Limited in Anambra. The engagement of the private sector players by the VCDP through CAF has resulted in 140, 000 Mt of rice and 30, 000 Mt of cassava on an annual basis, which correspond to $68.9 million as incremental sales and revenue into the Nigerian economy,” Onoja said.
The six participating states are Niger, Benue, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ogun and Taraba.
According to Onoja, CAF serves as a business transaction and knowledge sharing platform for farmers, government and private sectors in the participating states.
He acknowledged the contributions of OLAM to the development of the rice value-chain and CAF in Benue, which he said earned the VCDP national and international awards.
In her remarks, IFAD Programme Officer, Ms. Mariatu Kamara emphasised the importance of public private partnerships in project execution especially the CAF model.
She said aside from acting as transaction, market inclusion and empowerment forum for smallholder farmers, it links parties together leveraging resources to upscale farmers performance, increase their income as well as living standard.
Ms. Kamara said through the CAF model, smallholder farmers in Benue State only produced 25, 000Mt of farm crops and realise an estimated $9 million proceeds.
“This represents huge injection in the domestic economy and is in alignment with the objectives of the VCDP,” she said.
She appealed to the Federal Government and other state executives to adopt the model in order to provide credit supports, inputs and markets for rural farmers across the states.