The federal government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)met in Abuja to review the progress so far made with its joint value chain development programme.
The programme, which focuses on rice and cassava, seeks to improve livelihood outcomes of 135,000 smallholder farmers along the value chains in the 9 states: Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba, Enugu, Kogi and Nasarawa.
Speaking at the Medium Term Review (MTR) mission of the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) project in Abuja, the country director of IFAD Nigeria, Ms Dede Ekoue, said, “VCDP is one of the major agricultural programmes in Nigeria that focus on enhancing the incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in targeted states on a sustainable basis.
“This objective falls under IFAD’s strategic objectives to increase the productive capacities of poor rural people in a sustainable and resilient manner; increasing and improving their engagement in markets, while enabling them to better manage related risks; and strengthening the environmental sustainability and climate resilience of their economic activities.”
Ms Ekoue said the VCDP is one of the investment projects of Nigeria that is contributing to reducing the annual food import bill in line with the country’s national policy.
“Through the 4P model, VCDP supported more than 35,000 farmers for the CAF members. After working successfully with the 4P model since 2016 in the IFAD-supported VCDP project, Olam has increased its milling capacity by 10 times.
Furthermore, it now has a highly reliable supply of rice brought to the mill regularly, and much higher quality rice than can be found on the market.