From Rashidat AbdulRahman, Minna
Niger State government has lauded the Federal Government (FG) assisted International Fund for Agricultural Development/Value Chain Development Programme (FG/IFAD-VCDP) for being constant in supporting rural infrastructure, constructing agro-processing circuit centre for small holders processors in rice and cassava, market infrastructure, which will impact positively on the production and marketing of farm produce.
Governor Abubakar Bello, who spoke through his deputy, Ahmed Ketso, disclosed this at the official flag-off of the Niger state government IFAD-VCDP additional financing for 2022 agro processing equipments and simple farm implements distribution held at Farm Centre, Minna on Thursday.
“Today’s event is a testimony of our unwavering commitment to utilizing our advantage of abundant arable and water bodies for agricultural sector development.
“Our target from onset has been achieving self-sufficiency in food production and employment generation, particularly for the youths and women group,” he stated.
In her keynote address, the National Programme Co-ordinator, FG/IFAD-VCDP, Dr Fatima Aliyu said the VCDP in Niger is supporting 32,000 farmers in the rice and cassava value chains of production, processing and marketing.
She added that the capacity of the farmers has been built by the project in the state which has led to increase in yield, value addition to agriculture commodity, sustainable increase in income and reduction in poverty.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Yusuf Gun said the implements and equipments will not only reduce drudgery in production activities of farmers but will also significantly add value to agricultural products, thereby improve quality and standards that will enable the products compete favourably in the local and international market.
The commissioner further added that the ministry is proud of the efforts and achievements of the VCDP in meeting this strategic objective, as it has recorded a lot in development.
The agricultural equipments and implements for distribution include rice processing equipments, false bottom technology equipment, rice polisher, destoners, weighing scale, bag closer, and packing machines, power tiller, as well as sprayers.
Highlights of the event was symbolic presentation of some of the equipments to the beneficiaries by the governor and other top government officials, goodwill messages from relevant stakeholders and vote of thanks by the representative of the beneficiaries.