COVID-19 RPSF: 560 rural famers to receive free farm inputs in Kogi
NNN: No fewer than 560 vulnerable rural farmers in Kogi would benefit from the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF), aimed at cushioning the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on rural farmers.
The RPSF is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Value Chain Development Programme, supported by International Fund for Agricultural Development (-VCDP).
Speaking with newsmen on Monday in Lokoja, the Team lead on a Supervision Mission to Kogi, Prof. Aminu Suleiman, said they were in the state to access the level of preparedness towards the implementation of the RPSF.
According to him, the RPSF is a grant given to rural rice farmers to cushion the shock of COVID-19 pandemic across the States of the federation, including Kogi.
Suleiman expressed satisfaction with the preparation on ground in the state and commended the Programme Coordinator, Dr Stella Adejoh, her team and state government for its commitment to supporting the IFAD programmes in the state.
On her part, Dr Stella Adejoh, State Programme Coordinator of , said several people lost their means of livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic, and consequently faced with hardships.
She explained that IFAD decided to help those affected by the pandemic in the society to bring them out of their poverty situation.
Adejoh said the farmers would be provided with grant in form of inputs by IFAD such as fertilizer, certified rice seed, selective and non-selective herbicides, among others.
She noted that about 80 per cent of the beneficiaries are women and youths, who have been profiled and validated by a team of consultants from IFAD that came to the state in 2021.
She said that a total of 560 rural farmers that cut across the four rice producing Local Government Areas of Lokoja, Ibaji, Ajaokuta and , in the state.
According her, the inputs include 1400 bags of NPK fertilizer, 461 bags of Urea fertilizer, 186 pieces of both selective & non-selective herbicides, and 340 bags of 50kg (17 tonnes) of certified Rice seed Faro-44.
Adejoh added that the state government provided IFAD with warehouse at Kogi ADP office where the inputs were being stored.
”We want to thank Kogi State Government which has provided the enabling environment for the programmes to thrive in the state.
”I feel very excited because of the feedback we are getting and the support the programme is receiving from the Kogi State Government.
”I am very happy and grateful to His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello, for always supporting Agricultural Development Programmes in the state,” she said.
She assured that IFAD was collaborating with the International Fertilizer Distribution Company, who would give support in the area of inputs’ distribution, monitoring and supervision to ensure proper utilisation of the intended purpose.
”We will monitor the beneficiaries down to their farms for effective utilisation of the inputs,”Adejoh said.
Earlier, the team had paid a courtesy visit to the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. David Apeh, where they thanked the state government for fully supporting VDCP activities in the state.
Apeh assured the team of the commitment of the state governor to continue to give the needed support to the programme for the benefits of Kogi rural farmers.
The team further interacted in separate discussions with the farmers’ women and youth groups in both Kabawa and Magajiya clusters to know the plight and challenges being faced.
In their separate comments, the youth and women leaders of both Kabawa and Magajiya Clusters, Seidu Liman and Aishat Abdullahi respectively, commended the VCDP for the intervention and promise to judiciously utilised the inputs.
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