The Federal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) say they will support vulnerable Nigerian farmers affected by insecurity and flood with $1million dollars grant.
The Niger Programme Coordinator, IFAD-VCDP, Dr Mathew Ahmed, said on Thursday in Minna that the intervention would support farmers in the nine VCDP-participating states between now and December.
According to him, 350 vulnerable women and youths in each of the participating states would benefit from the grant, known as Rural Poor Stimulus Facility.
He said the gesture, which aimed at livelihood support for the vulnerable, would focus on dry season rice production in the nine states.
The states are Anambra, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, Ogun and Taraba.
Ahmed said the intervention would increase and sustain rice production, which would also assist greatly in achieving national food security.
He said that IFAD-VCDP had recorded huge success since its inception in 2015, having exposed farmers to modern techniques in the rice and cassava value chain.
“We have trained our farmers in modern methods of cultivating rice and cassava and made them to see agriculture as a business.
“Today, our farmers in Niger produce Rice and Garri of international standard and which can compete anywhere in the world as a result of the IFAD-VCDP intervention,” Ahmed said.
In October, the IFAD-VCDP provided livelihood support to 160 vulnerable women farmers from the eight participating Local Government Areas in the state.
The list included Bida, Borgu, Edati, Katcha, Kontagora, Mokwa, Shiroro and Wushishi.
Mrs Asabe Danjuma, the Secretary, Kontagora Rice Processing Cooperative, Argungu, one of the benefiting groups in the VCDP, lauded IFAD-VCDP for the gesture.
Danjuma promised that the programme, under the VCDP-Additional Financing, would be utilised to better the indigent farmers, when implemented.
She said the VCDP had been supportive in the past seven years as it exposed them to modern farming and marketing.
IFAD-VCDP, which was on rice and cassava value chain, also introduced the VCDP-Additional Financing (VCDP-AF) in 2020 as a family livelihood support programme to tackle malnutrition among children.
The phase one of the IFAD-VCDP, which started implementation in 2015, ended in 2019 with the commencement of the current VCDP-AF due to end in 2023.