The Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) in Kogi under the FGN/IFAD-assisted project has started the distribution of irrigation pumps and tube wells to farmers to boost dry season rice production in the state.
Apeh, who was represented by Isiaka, the ministry’s Director of Agricultural Services, urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items for the benefit of their families, the state and the nation at large.
Speaking of his past experience in the state, the commissioner called on grantees not to sell the equipment but to appropriate it.
Earlier, Kogi VCDP State Coordinator Dr. Stella Adejoh said that the pumps were distributed to farmers to improve their productivity during the 2021/2022 dry season farming.
He explained that the recipients of the items were farmers already captured in his database in three of the five local government benefited areas in the state for dry-season rice production.
According to her, the three main local government rice-producing areas are Lokoja, Ibaji and Ajaokuta along the river banks with a favorable environment for rice production during the dry season.
He highlighted that the Kogi VCDP is intervening in five of the state’s 21 local government areas in the cassava and rice value chain, ensuring that the program would be extended to other local government areas with additional funding.
He said that the beneficiaries had paid their matching grant of 30% or 35%, depending on their categories, of the total cost of the tools, while the governments paid the remaining 70% or 65%, as the case may be, through of the VCDP. .
The coordinator emphasized that the essence of the matching grant was to allow farmers to show commitment and take ownership of the items given to them.
“Not only do we provide them with the tools, but we also teach them the best agronomic practices to increase their yield and improve their production,” he said.
He congratulated farmers on their excellent performance during the last dry season of rice production and urged them to improve their performance to make the government proud.
Adejoh reiterated that the development objective of the VCDP “is to ensure food security, empower rural farmers to lift them out of poverty, and improve the economy in a sustainable way.
He expressed his delight at the distribution and the impacts the VCDP had had in achieving his goals and objectives in the state.
Adejoh thanked Governor Yahaya Bello for his commitment to the project and noted that the governor was always interested in making food available to citizens.
Two of the beneficiaries, Malam Kudu Muhammed, president of the Kabawa Cluster, and Hajia Sekinat Yakubu, a farmer, thanked the government and IFAD/VCDP for the gesture.
They promised that the tools would be used for their intended purpose to improve your productivity.