The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has said that it would support in the cultivation of 1,080 hectares of rice and cassava farms during the 2018 farming season in Anambra state.
The State Programme Coordinator of the programme, Mr Emmanuel Aguncha disclosed this while declaring open an interactive meeting between farmer organisations and relevant state and federal agencies in Onitsha on Monday.
IFAD-VCDP is an international financial institution of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.
Aguncha said the programme would support 880 hectares of rice farm and 200 hectares of cassava farm with land preparation, supply of consumables such as fertilisers, insecticides, herbicides and other agro-chemicals.
“The programme also budgeted to create access to 100 hectares farm sites with the construction of five kilometres of road in Omogho, Orumba North and a similar one in Achalla, Awka North council area.
“In addition to capacity building on agronomic practices for farmers, the programme will intensify its campaign to sensitise communities on the benefits of taking ownership and maintaining projects to ensure sustainability.
“Our estimation is that one hectare of rice farm will cost N120, 000 and N145, 000 per hectare for cassava. The farmers are expected to pay 50 per cent of the total cost for the support,” he said.
He lauded Governor Willie Obiano for being consistent with payment of counterpart funds, noting that the state government was expected to release N94.8 million as the state’s counter fund for 2018.
The State Gender Officer of VCDP, Mr Ikechukwu Anyasie said the meeting was organised to link farmers with relevant agencies including NiMet, NAFDAC, SON, NAIC, and National Seed Council.
“VCDP is encouraging the relationships of farmers with relevant agencies as part of measures to improve produce and ensure that they meet international certification and standards for export,” Anyasie said.
Two participants at the workshop, Mr Peter Emeka from Omor cluster in Ayamelum Local Government Area and Mrs Uju Nwankwo of Ndiokpalaeze cluster in Orumba North commended the meeting.
“Now I know better how Nimet can help guide farmers during the planting season,” Emeka, a rice farmer said.
On her part, Nwankwo, a cassava farmer, said the meeting had broadened her knowledge on standards for cassava produce and packaging.