Mr Emmanuel Igbaukum, Benue Programme Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said the organisation’s partnership with OLAM Nigeria Ltd. was yielding benefits to the citizenry.
The State Progreamme Coordinator, IFAD-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), made the disclosure in Makurdi in an interview with the newsmen.
Igbaukum said the partnership had made it possible for OLAM to rake in over N2.48 billion into the state’s economy.
‘‘Between September 2017 and February 2018 OLAM raked in over N2.48 billion into the Benue state economy through Benue VCDP’s partnership with the organisation.
“Olam was also able to off take 22,599 metric tonnes of rice paddy from Benue farmers under the VCDP intervention programme. This development has pulled so much money into the state economy.
“Olam paid N11, 000 per tonne, that is N110 per kilogramme, which is above the prevailing market price, thus the Benue farmers’ livelihoods has improved greatly,” .
He further stated that Olam had been giving support to rice farmers and at the harvest time purchase the rice paddy from them in the five Local Government Areas that were enjoying the programme
He said that OLAM had also assisted the state in reducing unemployment by providing both direct and indirect jobs as well as formal and informal jobs to its citizens.
‘‘The organisation has created jobs for the youth such as loaders, market women and hawkers.
‘‘Even motorcyclists are making money from the organisation because they transport the rice paddy bought by OLAM to the processing centres,” .
He further said that OLAM had left Benue at a point but with the help of IFAD-VCDP it came back to Benue and was making its impact in rice farming.
‘‘This is just the beginning; the major perceived benefit of the partnership is yet to come. This is just a tip of the iceberg,”