IFAD: Enugu’s intervention programmes boosting food production – State Coordinator


The Enugu State Coordinator of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Edward Isiwu says food production in the State has received a major boost.

He said this is following the building of capacity of rice and cassava farmers and other forms of interventions in the State.

Isiwu, the State Programme Coordinator, SPC of IFAD’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), said this during a media parley in Enugu.

He announced that the organization, which is domiciled in the State Ministry of Agriculture and natural Resources, was targeting to make Enugu the hub of the staple and cash crops in Nigeria.

The Coordinator, who solicited for media partnership with the organization, stated that if given the needed attention, the two major crops- rice and vitamin-A rich cassava, would eradicate hunger, as well as boost the State’s economy.

He disclosed that other value chain additions and derivatives from the two crops would also be made known to small-holder farmers.

According to him, technically, the IFAD-VCDP programme is using transfer of best agronomy and processing practices, market visibility/reach, extension services intervention and financial inclusion for farmers to achieve their target.

He added that part of the IFAD-VCDP target is to first make the state sufficient in the crops and lift thousands of small-holder farmers out of hunger and poverty through best modern agricultural practices.

“Basically, IFAD-VCDP is targeting small-holder farmers belonging to farming organisations/cooperatives (mostly women and youths), having less than five hectares of farmlands for rice and cassava production.

“In Enugu State, we have selected five pilot council areas, based on established criteria, mapped out by the designers of the IFAD-VCDP programme.

“The pilot council areas, producing these two crops, included: Aninri, Isi uzo and Nkanu East (for rice production and value chain addition) and Enugu East and Udenu (for cassava production and value chain addition).

“We introduce and provide them with best agronomy practices, climate smart agriculture and other basic farm business knowledge at the group/organisational training or workshop level.

“Then we follow them to the farms by providing matching grant support for high-yielding and weather-friendly seedlings and agro-inputs that will increase the tons per hectare to about an additional 2.5 tons of any given rice or cassava farmland.

“Before going to the farmland proper, IFAD-VCDP has organised for committed off-takers and markets for these produce so that the farmers will get value for investment in good time and ensure continuous farming,’’ he disclosed.

He hinted that the IFAD-VCDP programme commenced in the state in the last quarters of 2020.

The Coordinator disclosed that since the organization assumed operation in Enugu state, it had been able to engage a total of 104 small-holder farmers in the dry season between 2020/2021 farming period, especially in rice production.

He stated that the IFAD-VCDP dry season farming recorded huge success in the state.

According to him, “The yield of the small-holder farmers, who previously got 2.1 tonnes per hectare (a hectare is about the size of a football field), ended up harvesting between 4.5 and 4.7 tonnes per hectare of farmland.

“What is more astonishing is that some of these small-holder farmers have never engaged in dry season farming for rice before in their farming history.

“So, the magic was the introduction of dry weather-resilient rice seedlings, as well as other dry season favourable agro-inputs to enhance the yield per hectare.”

Isiwu stressed that the overall objective of the programme is to ensure that incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in production, processing, and marketing of rice and Cassava in the State are enhanced on a sustainable basis.

Restructuring will boost Nigeria’s economy, end insecurity – Peter Obi

You Might Like This

About sayflexxyblog 7525 Articles
Sayflexxyblog is a content writer, web developer, social media manager and advertiser.

Make Your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.