The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Value Chain Development Programme (VDCP) has commended the Ebonyi Government for inaugurating projects that impact positively on agricultural production.
IFAD-VCDP National Programme Coordinator (NPC), Mr Ameh Onoja also noted while inspecting projects executed by the programme on Thursday, that the development was unprecedented.
According to him, “I am highly impressed by the government’s infrastructure strides in respect to roads and bridges among others and this greatly impacts on agricultural production in the state. Rural farmers who are the major beneficiaries of IFAD-VCDP interventions will easily convey their produce to the areas of marketability, in tandem with the value chain provisions.
“This has also thrown a challenge to IFAD-VCDP because we will strive to conform to the quality of the government’s projects to meet required standards.”
He explained that he was inspecting the projects preparatory to the visit by the mission team from Rome and national headquarters.
“We have inaugurated several projects worth millions of naira and assisted farmers through various interventions such as inputs provision and distribution of mechanised equipment among others. I am therefore in Ebonyi to assess the extent at which farmers have benefited from the projects and interventions while advising the state office on ways of enhancing its activities,’’ he said.
Onoja commended the Ebonyi government for its prompt payment of counterpart funds on the IFAD-VCDP project and pledged its continued collaboration to actualise its agriculture goals.
“I commend the Ebonyi IFAD-VCDP office for its proactive approach in implementing our policies as the beneficiaries’ testimonies prove that it is effectively utilising scarce resources,’’ he said.
IFAD-VCDP Project Coordinator in Ebonyi, Mr Sunday Ituma noted that the visit had strengthened and motivated its management and staff to serve the beneficiaries optimally.
“We have learnt a lot from the visit as areas of strength were highlighted and those that need to be improved upon also noted. We are ready for the mission team’s visit with relevant preparations made and all necessary logistics for the visit provided,’’ he said.
The IFAD-VCDP team inspected roads, culverts, drainages, water bore-holes, market stalls and rice milling facilities among other agricultural enhancement projects.
The benefiting Local Government Areas (LGAs) are Ikwo, Ishilelu, Izzi, Ohaozara and Afikpo South.