By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – Kogi State farmers have been listed amongst the benefiting states for the World Bank $200m Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support Project (APPEALS).
The Kogi State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Dr. Sanni Ozomata who made this known Monday in Lokoja said 60,000 Nigerian farmers including Kogi State will benefit from the World Bank’s project.
The Project Coordinator, stated that the state has a lot of untapped agricultural potentials that needed to be harnessed, hence, the APPEALS projects has been structured to align with the States agricultural blueprint.
He said, “The implementation strategy will involve the identification of local governments areas based on their comparative advantage and farmers readiness by clustering them to optimise support and performance and to build a framework for expansion of existing farm clusters.
“Though APPEALS is new in Kogi State, a strategic communications plan that involves deep sensitization and advocacy visit to stakeholders in the rural areas are being implemented across the 21 local governments of the state.
“The Coordination of the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support Project (APPEALS) to align with the state’s Agricultural Blueprint, will boost the development of the Agricultural sector of the State.”
Ozomata said the project will add value and improve quality of crops where the state has comparative advantages, “The project will bridge the gap of low capacity utilization by ensuring the availability of storage facilities, farmers access to markets and raising a generation of agro- entrepreneurs.
“The World Bank expectation about the project is very high. We therefore enjoin the support of all stakeholders towards the success of the project, particularly the project implementation staff who are expected to bring their innovations and competence to bear on the project.”
He re-emphasized the importance of the project to the rural dwellers and the nation in improving the livelihood of the people and fortunes of the economy, tasking the project implementation officers to put all hands on deck to make the project work.