By Okpe Ejiro
The Department for International Development, DFID, has launched an N80 million Technology Adoption Grant, TAG, a private sector intervention aimed at stimulating performance in select agriculture value chains in the Niger Delta.
The TAG fund, which is managed by Market Development in the Niger Delta, MADE, programme, is awarded to eligible individuals and enterprises with focus on oil palm processing, fish smoking and improving harvesting technologies through a competitive rolling grant process in the Niger Delta region.
Team leader of MADE, Mr. Tunde Oderinde, said that the project is currently on a tour of benefitting states and communities in the Niger Delta.
He said that MADE decided to cost-share N80 million to implement agriculture related programmes geared towards alleviating poverty in the Niger Delta region based on popular demand from indigenes.
According to him, one of the major policy thrusts of MADE’s intervention in the region involves using agriculture to address the problem of food security and youth unemployment confronting the states of the region, adding that to achieve the Bayelsa TAG launch, MADE is partnering the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, ZAL, the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta.
Oderinde, whose team spoke to excited smallholder farmers and cooperative organisations in Edo, Delta and Akwa Ibom States in 2016, explained that the intervention was open solely to individual businesses and enterprises domiciled and operating in the Niger Delta.