The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), has began farm inputs distribution to farmers in Ebonyi state.
Mr Sunday Ituma, IFAD—VCDP State Programme Coordinator (SPC) who stated this during the launch in Abakaliki, disclosed that over N10 billion has been injected into the Ebonyi economy since it began operations in 2014 with 16, 000 beneficiaries.
“We have contributed over 70, 000 metric tonnes of rice paddy into the rice production system of the state, constructed over 42km of rural access-roads and over 60 culverts in benefiting Local Government Areas (LGA).
“We have also for the first time, intervened in land development with over 200 hectares developed at Ezillo and the accompanying results are there for all to see,” he said.
The state coordinator noted that for 2019, the IFAD-VCDP Country and National Offices have approved support to 1, 670 farmers in the state, who will cultivate 1, 670 hectares of land.
“This will cost the programme over N130million as we will provide 50 per cent of the costs while the benefitting farmers though their various cooperative societies, will contribute 50 per cent matching grant.
“The programme has also approved additional financing for its second phase after an excellent performance in its first phase of operation.
“It has also approved the extension of its activities to additional three LGA of the state which include: Ivo, Ezza North and Ohaozara in addition to the five benefiting councils of Ishielu, Izzi, Ikwo, Ohaozara and Afikpo South,” he explained.
He commended the state government for its support to the programme through the payment of counterpart funds and warned the farmers not to sell the inputs distributed to them.
The National Programme Coordinator (NPC) of IFAD—VCDP Dr Ameh Onoja, advised the farmers to judiciously utilise the inputs to enhance their agricultural capabilities.