The International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has distributed 10 power tilling machines to farmers in Benue.
Dr Timothy Ijir, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources made the presentation on behalf of IFAD-VCDP to the farmers in Makurdi.
He was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mr Lucky Izobo.
Speaking during the presentation, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC) in Benue, Mr Emmanuel Igbaukum disclosed that the machines were for 10 farmers cooperatives, stressing that the figure cuts across various cooperatives that were partnering with IFAD-VCDP.
“The benefitting farmers requested for the machines and in turn they made some financial commitments.
“The machines have the capacity of tilling two hectares of land in a day; it is also very easy to operate.
“IFAD-VCDP was desirous of reducing the over dependence on tractors. The tractors are very difficult to come by for most farmers,” he said.
The commissioner encouraged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the machines for their overall benefit and that of the state.
He expressed gratitude to IFAD-VCDP for the support it was rendering to Benue farmers and sued for sustenance.
Ijir said that Gov. Samuel Ortom led-administration was also not resting on its oars as it was supporting farmers as well as providing incentives to them to increase agricultural activities in the state.
“The Benue State government always ensured that counterpart funds were released to development partners as when due in order to boost agricultural activities,” he said.
He commended Ortom and the farmers for their efforts, which are geared toward maintaining the ”Food Basket of the Nation” status.