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10,000 Kogi farmers to benefit from World Bank’s APPEAL project

Not less than 10,000 farmers in Kogi State are to benefit from the $200 million grant of the World Bank assisted Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement…

Not less than 10,000 farmers in Kogi State are to benefit from the $200 million grant of the World Bank assisted Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood improvement Support (APPEALS) project.

The project, which is to last for period of seven years, is aimed at supporting women and youth to boost the production and productivity of three priority value chains – rice, cashew and cassava.

Kogi State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Dr Sanni Abdullahi Ozomata, while speaking at a stakeholders sensitisation meeting in Lokoja, said Kogi alongside Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Cross River and Lagos states were selected by the World Bank after a competitive process for the implementation of the APPEALS project.

Ozomata explained that the objective of the project was to enhance the production and productivity of farmers by ensuring that farmers are improved and moved from subsistence level to  small and medium scale levels.

“We are looking at giving grants to farmers and aside, we are looking forward to working with the real farmers and not political farmers. The project is also going to look at rural infrastructure for farm clusters so that it can enhance their farming activities and livelihood.

“The women and youth sub components also give them opportunity to partake in other farming activities that is within the priority value chain of the project. The project is to move small subsistence farmers that are into five hectares for instance into 10 hectares or more

According to him, the project would ensure value addition and reduce post-harvest losses by supporting farmers in the aspect of processing their commodities for purpose of value addition.

“Our farmers have not been able to add value to products due to lack of processing. Many of them sell their products at a give away prices. We want to stop all that through this intervention”, he said.

According to him, the projects development objective would be achieved through linkage to markets, facilitating consolidation of agricultural products and cottage processing, women and youth empowerment; productivity enhancement and infrastructural supports to agribusiness, amongst others.

He emphasised that the project will not demand money from potential beneficiaries before they would be considered, adding that once they (potential beneficiaries) meet the eligibility criteria, they would be selected.

APPEAL National Project Coordinator, Dr Amin Babandi urged traditional rulers and local council officials in the state to give the necessary support to ensure the success of the project.

The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, urged the people of the state to avail themselves of the opportunity offered by the World Bank assisted Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project to enhance their economic wellbeing.

The Governor who was represented by Secretary to Kogi State Government, (SSG)  Folashade Arike Ayoade,  encouraged farmers to make good use of the opportunity noting that he looked forward to a time when Kogi farm products would be on massive demand at the international market.


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