Mr Tayo Adewumi, the National Coordinator, FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) programme, says the programme has now transformed into a movement.
He said this in Abuja on Wednesday while speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the two-day FADAMA technical meeting on farm inputs distribution mechanism and produce marketing.
Adewumi noted that in all the participating states, the beneficiaries were involved in all the value chain processes – crop processing, packaging and off-taking.
“That is the best way a project should be run and sustained.
“This is what we call value addition; value addition is very vital and it should involve processes like production, capacity building, processing and packaging,’’ he said.
The coordinator said that the participants of the technical meeting– agro-dealers, off-takers and FADAMA officials in states – were mobilised to boost the country’s agricultural production.
He added that they would also strive to implement President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda on food security by enhancing food production for local consumption and exports.
“ We are targeting not only the regional markets but also international markets. The Green Alternative programme of the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, is on course; we gather representatives from all states because they are all important in this gathering.
“We want to use the two days to rub minds, exchange our professional ideas and later articulate the lessons we have learnt at the end of the programme.
“We cannot assume that all is well in all the states but we want to say we have left the train station; the train is moving towards our final destination,’’ he said.
Adewumi said that in the course of programme implementation, there had been successes and challenges, adding, however, that by the end of the technical meeting, pragmatic solutions would have been proffered to all the perceptible challenges.
“We have not only invited off-takers and agro-dealers but we have invited the state FADAMA officers, so when they go back they would be able to re-echo all the decisions we have made at this forum.
“ We always appreciate agro-dealers for their wonderful job because seed security is food security.
“Our farmers are smiling because they now know the value of the programme and appreciate the seeds they are planting, they now see agriculture as a way of life and business; and they now have bargaining power,’’ he said.
Adewumi said that the timing of the meeting was apt because in 2014 when the FADAMA programme started, most of the participants did not know how to make project document work.
“Under the project management or donor project, our project document is referred to as a living document; at any point in time, whenever we want to implement a clause and we are facing certain challenges, we always go back to consult it and see the way out.
“The essence is for us to achieve the Project Development Objective (PDO) of the programme and be able to know that all the items listed in the project which have been implemented or achieved.
“We are doing all these to promote Nigeria’s agricultural development to serve as a tool for job creation, food sufficiency and engagement of the youth,’’ he said.
Adewumi described FADAMA as one of the Community Development Projects in Africa, saying that it had been very successful.
“It would not have happened if not for the zeal, commitment and efforts of all partners and Nigerians as a whole.
“Many youths have been trained from different states and the FADAMA collaboration has been excellent, it was not there before, we started in hard way; it is getting smoother and it will last longer.
“We want the relationship we have built to last longer and be sustained; we promise to continue to support our poor farmers and put smiles on their faces,’’ he said.