The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) for rice and cassava, on Tuesday, said that the programme has been extended for three more years to accommodate dry season farming.
Dr Mathew Ahmed, the state Coordinator of the programme made this known, during the VCDP-Additional Financing (AF) state sensitisation and mobilisation in Minna.
“The IFAD-VCDP has been extended for three more years to accommodate dry season farming. The process will help Niger state produce quality rice of international standard,” he said.
Ahmed said that the programme would target over 30,000 farmers with special focus on women and youths, which would involve more Local Government Areas.
“The target of the VCDP AF is to address dry season farming by provision of tube wells, irrigation facilities.
“Also common users’ infrastructures, such as boreholes, construction of roads and support processing activities, to ensure that the rice processed in Niger state meet international standard,” he said.
He said that in the past four years the VCDP had trained 22,000 farmers in the state.
“IFAD is more interested in working with women and youths in the state,” he said.
The coordinator expressed optimism that the state would top the chart in the implementation of the VCDP AF, in the six participating states of Anambra, Ebonyi, Benue, Niger, Ogun and Taraba.
He promised that the government would ensure prompt payment of its counterpart fund to the VCDP AF project.