Agriculture

FG urged to replicate Fadama II Project approach for speedy development

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The Federal Government has been urged to replicate the Fadama II approach in the execution  of its community projects and other intervention programmes to aid speedy development in the country.


Mr Ephraim Nkonya, a Senior Research Fellow, with Environmental and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC, made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

Nkonye said that government should adopt the bottom approach of the implementation of the FADAMA II project, because of its success rate.

He said that IFPRI which has a worldwide presence carried out a research to evaluate the impact of the FADAMA II project on Nigeria in 2007.

“ We started with Fadama II project in 2007 and we were able to do a good study which showed that the impact of the project increased the income of people by 60 per cent in very short time.

“ It was successfully targeted  at the women, youths and poor which was a big shocker to people out there because of their preconceived bad impressions about Nigeria.

“The good thing about the FADAMA II project is that it was targeted at persons who are the poorest members of the society; it was also targeted at women and youths and the whole venture was successful.

“When the donors and everybody read the report, they marvelled at its findings. There and then, they decided to finance more FADAMA projects,’’ he added.

Nkonya recalled that when the problem in the North East started, the World Bank and Federal Government did not look far before Fadama which was chosen because of the successful usage of bottom (mainstay) approach.

“They said we are going to give them money and they gave them money to implement the restoration of livelihood in the North East.

“If you look at the history of this project for the past 26 years is like you are grooming a child and the child is now matured.

“A matured child with a lot of experience and skills needs to be used for implementation for all the rural development project,” he said.

He noted that if the government wanted  to achieve result among rural farmers, youths and women, Fadama bottom approach should be used to implement all the programmes in Nigeria.

“ My plea to the government is to mainstay the Fadama approach because Agricultural Development Project (ADP) was a project before it was upgraded to a programme.

“I will like to see Fadama being mainstay so that it will become development programme for rural Nigeria.

“It would be very good because they have built very strong institutions and infrastructure from the grassroot to national level.

“They have a lot of the experience to be able to achieve the meaningful development objectives as seen in all Fadama projects.

He, however, described some challenges that the programme faced during implementation as expected.

“This happened because of the financial constraint and focus; Federal Government really needs to increase the fund for a successful project like Fadama.

“Fadama III benefited 965,000 households, or about 4.8 million poor people and they produced a lot, the standard market must also be available available for them.

“And I hope we will start planning for the future’’ he said.

https://nnn.ng/fg-urged-to-replicate-fadama-ii-project-approach-for-speedy-development/

Politics

NGO identifies with Umahi’s call for peace, unity among Ebonyi political stakeholders

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The National Council for Democratic Development (NCDD), an Abuja-based Non-Governmental Organsiation (NGO), says it identifies with Gov. David Umahi’s call for peace and unity among Ebonyi political stakeholders.


Chief Nwaeze Onu, Executive Director of the organisation, supported the governor’s call on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

He was reacting to the governor’s recent interactive seession with the state’s stakeholders drawn from various social and political affiliations in Abuja.

Onu, a former Senatorial Candidate for Ebonyi South Zone, said that the governor’s call for peace and unity among political stakeholders, irrespective of party affiliations, was apt and would ensure the state’s development.

“We believe that states thrive where there is peace and harmonious existence among the people.

“When peace and unity thrive in a state, investment and other forms of development which the people yearn for in a democracy will be attracted,” he said.

The organisation’s executive director said that the interactive session offered Ebonyi indigenes residing in Abuja a first-hand opportunity of interacting with the governor and getting account of his stewardship.

“The performance score-card made by the governor at the event consciously outlined his administration’s goals and achievements in the past five years.

“The NCDD as advocates for democratic values where citizens partake in governance, appreciates the governor for giving the people opportunity to know and be partakers of his administration,” he said.

He said that the organisation was happy with the investment climate developed by the governor in Ebonyi and enjoined the people to heed to his call to utilise the investment opportunities in the state.

“We urge Umahi to, however, vigorously pursue his government’s policy of improving the people’s living standard which is hoped to be enhanced by his massive infrastructure strides.

“The government through the state’s ministry of Human Capital Development and Monitoring should sustain the empowerment of more indigenes and ‘keying them’ into the Federal Government’s various social investments programmes.

“Emphasis should also be placed on massive engagement in agriculture to effectively utilise the government’s investment in the sector with the support of agencies such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) FADAMA among others,” he said.

(
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ngo-identifies-with-umahis-call-for-peace-unity-among-ebonyi-political-stakeholders/
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Agriculture

Abia attains self-sufficiency in rice production- FADAMA III coordinator

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Mrs Ezinne Otuka, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC), Abia State FADAMA III, says the state has attained self-sufficiency in rice production.


Otuka who spoke on Thursday in Umuahia, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , attributed the success story to the agricultural reform programmes of Abia Government.

He said that the programmes encouraged the FADAMA User Groups (FUGs) and others in the state to go into commercial agriculture.

She said that there were over 34 clusters of rice fields across the state, supported by the programme as well as 188 registered FADAMA Community Associations (FCAs).

“In Abia, we have 188 FCAs and 2, 084 FUGs trained and fully funded by the programme. The Abia Federated FCAs which cuts across commodity and institutional lines have been duly registered,” she said.

She said that the governor recently opened up additional 103 hectares of rice field to be cultivated in 2020, bringing the total hectares of rice field in the state under FADAMA programme to 1, 360 hectares.

Otuka said that the state government recently inaugurated a rice mill to serve as off taker for rice production in Acha community, Isiukwuato Local Government Area of the state.

She said that the rice mill had the capacity to produce 24 tonnes of rice per day, adding that agricultural activities in the state under the programme had been very rewarding.

“Our farmers now produce the rice we use in the state and even sell to neighbouring states,” she said.

The SPC said that FADAMA programme had helped to boost food security and sufficiency in the state, adding that the Abia FADAMA Office had received commendations from the national office.

“We can conveniently say that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, has shown uncommon passion and zeal to ensure that the state achieve food security,” Otuka said.

Edited By: Obike Ukoh (NAN)

 

https://nnn.ng/abia-attains-self-sufficiency-in-rice-production-fadama-iii-coordinator/
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Agriculture

Fraud: Umahi orders recovery of over N120m from FADAMA III coordinator

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Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has directed the state Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) to recover over N120 million  allegedly embezzled by the state Programme Coordinator of FADAMA III project.


Umahi gave the directive on Wednesday in Abakaiki during a virtual state Executive Council meeting.

He gave the commission one week to recover the fund from the coordinator in the state, Dr Cletus Nwakpu.

The governor directed the commission to either report the matter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or prosecute Nwakpu, should he fail to refund the funds within the stipulated period.

“This should be in accordance with the laws guiding the commission and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) should get somebody to act as the Head of the FADAMA III project.

“He should also evaluate whether we can rejig the programme in the state, even if we can borrow money to offset the counterpart fund in order to help the people.”

Umahi said that the commission was independent of any arm of government in the state and directed the state Head of Service (HoS) to immediately suspend Nwakpu as a civil servant.

He also directed that other necessary disciplinary actions be instituted against him.

The SSG, Dr Kenneth Ugbala, while presenting the report of the commission’s investigation on Nwakpu, disclosed that he was accused of fraud and financial irregularities in a petition against him.

“The petition was written by Mr Mathew Nweze and Elijah Joseph of the state FADAMA Cooperative Society Limited on February 10.

“Investigations by FRC revealed that Nwakpu directed the opening of an account with the name, Ebonyi FADAMA Production Beneficiaries Clusters, with himself as a signatory.

“Funds, which were contributed by farmers for 2017 FADAMA III project, were deposited in the account and this runs contrary to the financial regulations guiding the project.

“Nwakpu did not release the complete agricultural inputs to the farmers, which they paid for, and has failed to refund the money to the farmers,” the report added.

The report further indicated that Nwakpu allegedly directed some staff of FADAMA III office to collect N90 million from the farmers in cash, contrary to the provision that payments should be made into their group accounts.

“The regulations and guidelines for procurement of agricultural input, capacity building, selection of service providers, among others for 2017-2019 FADAMA project was not complied with by Nwakpu,” Ugbala said.

The report also indicated that Nwakpu could not account for over N120 million he spent and recommended that he be suspended from office, among other sanctions.

Speaking with newsmen at the end of the meeting, the HoS, Dr Chamberlain Nwele, said that the governor had replaced the Auditor-General, Mr Innocent Nweda, who was suspended on July 13.

“The former state auditor-general has been replaced by Mr Akah Udu, while the Auditor-General for Local Government, Mr George Ukpai, has been replaced by Mrs Pauline Alobu.

Efforts made by NAN to get the reactions of Dr Cletus Nwakpu were unsuccessful as he did not respond to several telephone calls made to him.

Edited By: Sam Oditah/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://nnn.ng/fraud-umahi-orders-recovery-of-over-n120m-from-fadama-iii-coordinator/
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Agriculture

Agric: IFAD-VCDP rates Ebonyi best among participating states in Nigeria

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has rated Ebonyi the best among its participating states in Nigeria.

Alhaji Garba Bala, the new National Programme Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, gave the commendation when he visited Chief Moses Nome, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, as part of his familiarisation tour of the state.

Bala said that Ebonyi distinguished itself by its 18-page document that showcased all its completed projects and another four-page document that showed its ongoing projects.

“The Ebonyi office will commence new projects by the end of July as over N500 million will be released to it for effective project implementation,” he said.

Bala said that Ebonyi was the second state being visited after Niger since he assumed office on June 1.

“I, however, urge the state government to expedite action on the payment of its counterpart fund as it is very important and meaningful to the programme.

“The state government, particularly the governor, has shown great enthusiasm in revolutionalising agriculture and has collaborated effectively with us to achieve set goals.

“It should, however, be understood that the counterpart funds in question are in arrears as the government has offset current ones.

“Government is, however, a continuous process and government does not belong to any individual whether past or present, it is the same Ebonyi,” he said.

He said that the programme had effectively taken steps to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on its benefiting farmers across the country with the provision of items such as protective wears, face masks, sanitisers, chemicals and other palliatives.

The state commissioner said he was gratified but not surprised to hear that Ebonyi was the best performing state in the country on IFAD-VCDP programmes.

“You cannot talk about agriculture in Ebonyi without mentioning IFAD-VCDP and FADAMA but the former has played more significant roles in constructing rural-farm roads, provision of farm inputs, among others.

“IFAD-VCDP provided for us the best seed producing equipment in the country and has trained our citizens on seed production among other forms of agricultural skills acquisition abroad.

“The state government rates IFAD-VCDP the best in agriculture intervention and it remains the best of all World Bank-assisted programmes operating in the state,” Nome said.

Nome promised to convey the request for the counterpart fund payment to the governor and commended IFAD-VDCP for including three additional local government areas among those benefiting in Ebonyi.

Mr Sunday Ituma, State Programme Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, thanked Bala for the visit and assured that the rating of Ebonyi would motivate the office to attain greater height.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/agric-ifad-vcdp-rates-ebonyi-best-among-participating-states-in-nigeria/

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