The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has handed over market stalls and shops worth about N60 million to farmers under its programme in Anambra.
The lock-up shops and open stalls with toilet facilities were constructed in Awgbu and Igbariam community markets located in Orumba North and Anambra East Local Government Areas of the state respectively.
Inaugurating the projects which held separately, the state Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP, Nnamdi Agwuncha said the projects were aimed at enhancing the economic well-being of farmers in the areas.
According to him, the structures will help the farmers secure their produce and also shield them from rain and sun which most times reduces quality of their produce before off-takers come for them.
Agwuncha, who urged them to ensure proper and good utilisation of the facilities, assured the beneficiaries that the programme would complement the gesture with the provision of boreholes.
“I want to assure you that by next month, we will come back to sink a borehole here, so there will be water supply for the toilet facilities.
“We do not want to come back and discover a rift as a result of these shops. We are also considering building a cassava processing factory here,” he said.
The coordinator explained that the projects were jointly handled by IFAD-VCDP and the state government.
In his remarks, Afam Mbanefo, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Processing, Mechanisation and Export, explained that the projects were aimed at uniting all the IFAD-VCDP members when the programme eventually winds up.
“This is in line with the Gov. Willie Obiano’s dream of making agriculture the economic mainstay in the state.
“We give interventions for cassava and rice especially, but this structure became necessary at a point.
“When the funds stops coming from our international partners, we hope that these will be something for you to fall back on and raise money for yourselves,” he said.
The commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Emenike Ezinando, also advised them to lease the shops and stalls at affordable rates.
In their separate reactions, the Chairman, Orumba North Local Government Area, Mrs Ify Obinabo and the President-General of Igbariam community, Mr Jude Orizu commended IFAD-VCDP and the state government.
They both pledged civility and total environmental cleanliness of the facilities.
A total of 14 lock-up shops and 14 stalls were constructed at Awgbu with toilet facilities.
Igbariam community was handed over 10 lock-up shops and 14 stalls with toilet facilities.