The Federal Government, through the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP-AF), has distributed water pumps and inputs to 261 farmers in Kogi State to enhance maximum yield for dry season farming.
The programme, which was supported by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD/VCDP), was meant to compensate farmers whose farmlands were submerged by floods that ravaged the state.
The National Programme Coordinator (NPC), FGN/IFAD-VCDP, Dr Fatima Aliyu, inaugurated the distribution on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at Agricultural Development Project (ADP), Felele, Lokoja.
Items distributed include fertiliser, certified rice seed, selective and non-selective herbicides, water pumps, amongst others.
Represented by Mr Gidado Bello, the IFAD/VCDP’s Human Resource Adviser, the coordinator said that the distribution was a flood-recovery strategy input to support beneficiaries in Kogi.
Aliyu said the aim was to cushion the devastating effects of flood on farmers, increase their yield and boost food security in the state.
”We are here to show empathy to our farmers whose farmlands, livelihood and hard-earned resources were destroyed by flood.
”We share in your losses and wellbeing, VCDP cares for you and always with you.
“We will continue to be with you to improve on your life and livelihood,” Aliyu said.
The coordinator said that the intervention was special because it was meant to address a specific situation that was peculiar and memorable to them.
She said the inputs would be strictly monitored to achieve its intended purpose.
She, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the items to recover their losses to flood, increase their yield and boost food security in the state.
”Once you demonstrate your commitment and directly use the inputs given to you to achieve its intended purpose, you will get more from us,” Aliyu said.
The coordinator thanked the state government for its support, cooperation and passion for the full implementation of VCDP projects in Kogi.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr David Apeh, advised the farmers to adhere to all the advice given to them by utilising the inputs effectively.
Apeh said that the state government valued all the IFAD/VCDP programmes, saying it had greatly impacted the lives of the farmers in the state.
Earlier, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC), Dr Stella Adejoh, said 261 farmers who lost their farmlands and source of livelihood to flood would get the inputs in the state.
She said the intervention was majorly to cushion the flood effects, increase their income and reduce poverty.
According to her, 100 farmers would benefit from Lokoja; 100 from Ibaji; and 61 from Ajaokuta Local Government Areas.
The coordinator noted that the VCDP had earlier distributed farm inputs to support over 240 farmers affected by flood with one hectare of farmland each.
She said that a total of 501 farmers had benefitted from the flood intervention programme so far in Kogi.
”We are encouraging the farmers to engage in dry season farming, so that they can plant and reap their harvest within the dry season period, ‘’ she said.
Adejoh appreciated Gov. Yahaya Bello for his commitment to the implementation of the VCDP projects in Kogi, especially the prompt payment of its counterpart fund.
Some of the beneficiaries, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, Mrs Zainab Musa, thanked Kogi IFAD/VCDP for the inputs and promised to utilise the items for their own benefits.
By Stephen Adeleye