The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through its Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has commenced the distribution of inputs to 2, 971 wet season cassava and rice farmers in Taraba State.
Governor Darius Ishaku who flagged off the distribution at a brief ceremony in Jalingo on Saturday, warned the beneficiaries against selling the items given to them.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Danjuma Bujujen, the governor commended IFAD-VCDP for changing the fortunes of cassava and rice farmers in the state.
He said the support was to enable farmers improve their incomes and enhance food security in the state.
In his address, the state Programme Coordinator of IFAD, Mr. Irimiya Musa, said the IFAD-VCDP was committed to enhancing the incomes and food security of rural rice and cassava farmers.
He commended Governor Ishaku for prompt payment of counterpart funds at all times, adding that the programme had reduced the matching grant from 50 per cent to 30 percent for women and youth while that of men had been reduced to 40 percent.
According to him, the reduction was due to the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rice and cassava farmers who are women and youths will now pay 30 percent of the cost of inputs while men will pay 40 percent instead of the usual 50 percent and the programme will pay 70 and 60 percent respectively,” he said.
He explained that the programme since inception in 2015 had supported a total of 14, 609 rice and cassava farmers across eight local government areas in the state.
The local government areas that benefited from the intervention include Ardo Kola, Bali, Donga, Gassol, Jalingo, Karim-Lamido, Takum and Wukari.