March 25, 2021

Over 19,000 Rice, cassava farmers are supported wth farm input, others in Taraba – IFAD-VCDP

Food Production: Federal, state govts urged to help women farmers own lands

… Says 40% are Women

By Femi Bolaji

No fewer than 19,000 rice and cassava farmers across 8 local government areas of Taraba state are currently getting support from International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, under the Value Chain Development Program, VCDP.

The program which is partly supported by the federal government with counterpart funding from the Taraba state government has 40% beneficiaries as women.

The rural institution, gender, and youth Officer of Taraba VCDP, Altini James spoke at Koppi cassava processing Centre, when the IFAD Market Development Adviser in Nigeria, Fatima Muktari Buhari paid a working visit to the state.

She said the program has created a market where producers and processors of rice and cassava chips meet with ready buyers.

She also disclosed that the initiative has been able to reduce post-harvest losses and improved the livelihood of benefitting farmers across the state.

The state Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, Irimiya Musa, maintained that the program has added value to rice and cassava in the state from production down to marketing.

He noted that aside from the provision of grants to the farmers for farm inputs, processing and storage facilities were also provided for the farmers.

Musa also said with a ready market where buyers book in advance for processed rice and cassava chips, the program has reduced the rate of poverty among farmers.

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IFAD’s Country Marketing Development Adviser, Fatima Muktari Buhari, was delighted with the progress of the program in the state.

She further thanked the Federal and Taraba State government for their investment in agriculture when she paid a courtesy visit to governor Darius Ishaku.

She also affirmed that Taraba contributes 80,000 metric tonnes of rice and 91,000 tonnes of cassava worth $33 million US Dollars to the national domestic market.

Governor Darius Ishaku on his part described Taraba as one of the highest producers of Cassava and posited that the state can produce rice for the country.

He used the forum to solicit more support from the federal government to boost the production capacity of farmers in the state.