APPEALS, a World Bank-assisted project says it targeting 60,000 individuals as direct beneficiaries of Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to complement the transformation agenda programme of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) is a World Bank-assisted project in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Mr Mohammed Jobdi, the National Coordinator of the project made this known at the official opening of APPEALS projects facilitators training workshop on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
He said that about 10,000 beneficiaries would benefit per state and 300,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.
He said it was anticipated that 35 per cent of direct beneficiaries of 21,000 individuals would be women and youths.
Jobdi said that the project was organised to improve the agricultural sector for a better life for farmers in the country.
According to him, the project has 11 commodity value chains, which include rice, cocoa, poultry, cashew, maize, ginger, diary, wheat, tomato, cassava and aquaculture.
“These priority value chains were carefully selected due to their potential in contributing to the government stated priority goals of food security and local production, potential for exports and contribution to improvement of livelihoods.’’
He said it would further enhance speedy income generation including jobs creation along the value chains, adding that the project was being implemented in six states with their respective value chains.
According to him, the states are Cross River with specialisation in rice, cocoa, poultry, Enugu in rice, cashew, poultry, Kaduna in maize, ginger, dairy
Others are Kano with advantage in rice, wheat, tomato, Kogi in cassava, cashew, rice, while Lagos in rice, aquaculture and poultry
He said that the project development objective was to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chain in the participating states.
He said the project was approved by the World Bank on March 23, 2017 and became disbursement effective on May 24, 2018 “and it is expected to closed by September 2023’’.
Jobdi said the project had been making tremendous progress since inception, adding that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past five months, the overall performance of the project was satisfactory.
He stressed that the project had improved on its performance across all participating states, adding that a total of 277 VCIPs had been prepared, reviewed and approved for implementation by the beneficiaries.
He said that the project had also documented a total of 50 business alliances both off-takers and out-growers across nine value chains.
“In addition, a total of 64 different technologies have been demonstrated to farmers across the participating states.
“In keeping to and increasing this present pace, it has become imperative to conduct this very important training workshop for the project facilitators,’’ he said.
Dr Yahaya Aminu, the Kaduna State Coordinator in his presentation said the objective of the project was to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition.
He said the project would support farmers’ productivity and their linkage to markets, adding that targeted value chains were expected to foster job creation in the participating states.
He said the team looked forward to going to their state with improved capacity to work efficiently and effectively with beneficiary farmers to achieve the APPEALS projects.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)