Farmers in Nasarawa State have said the government Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has helped to improve agricultural enterprises in the state.
About 7,749 rice and cassava farmers received equipment to scale up value chain production operations.
The Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) is a six-year development initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) programme that focuses on supporting cassava and rice value chains for small farmers in nine states.
The states include Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba, Kogi, Enugu and Nasarawa.
The Additional Financing 2019 will increase 135,000 direct beneficiaries by next year, while targeting 121,000 smallholder farmers and 14,000 processors/ marketers.
Nasarawa State joined the programme in July 2020, which is expected to close by 2025. The programme is being implemented in Lafia, Doma, Wamba, Karu and Nasarawa Local Government Areas (LGAs) on the basis of volume of production of the two crops.
In Doma, the treasurer of Ozanawa Multipurpose Cooperative, Mercy Oganji, said: “We got to know about VCDP as a cooperative organisation, and we linked up with it.
“We are 41 members in the cooperative, and we cultivate rice. Some of our members harvested over 200 bags of rice. We sell a bag of rice for N20,000. Before we came in contact with VCDP, our productivity was low and we were not able to harvest this much. Now, we have doubled what we used to get,” she said.
Oganji said VCDP has really helped women who are members of her cooperative, and this has impacted positively on their business as an organization.
“The profit had improved our livelihood, hence training our children in school and good feeding.”
Amina Mohammed, who processes and sells rice, said life has improved for her and her household, adding that she has been able to support her children significantly.
The mother of 8, who said she has been processing rice for over 18 years, said the intervention has made things better for her as her income has increased.
The National Coordinator, VCDP, Dr Fatima Aliyu, who was represented by the Knowledge and Communication Advisor, Vera Onyeka-Onyilo, said the project is on track to reduce the N6bn spent annually on rice importation.