The Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) of the International Food for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has inaugurated a seed laboratory in Ebonyi to provide improved seeds for farmers.
The State Coordinator, Mr Sunday Ituma disclosed on Friday in Abakaliki while addressing the beneficiaries of the programme’s mechanised equipment supply scheme that the inauguration would solve the state’s seed needs.
According to him, the project would provide certified seeds to farmers as well as stimulate efforts to boost agricultural production.
“The equipment to test the seeds has been sent to us by our headquarters and the commissioner for agriculture is expected to inaugurate it before the end of January,” he said.
Ituma added that the project had trained 30 seed entrepreneurs at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, for three months.
“The training is intended to provide supply channels for certified seeds for farmers in the state so as to enhance food production. The IFAD-VCDP headquarters has also sent experts to train beneficiaries on the usage of equipment such as power-tillers, knapsack sprayers, smart weather devices, among others,” he said.
He urged the state government to make demand for increased IFAD-VCDP activities in more local government areas of the state.
“The IFAD-VCDP mission team would be visiting the state in February on an assessment tour and this provides an opportunity for the government to demand the increase of our activities from five councils to cover more councils,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of beneficiaries, Mr Chikezie Ugbo commended IFAD-VCDP for its intervention.