The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has provided Ebonyi farmers with irrigation interventions to boost dry season rice production in the state. Mr. Sunday Ituma, the IFAD-VCDP State Project Coordinator (SPC) said while inspecting some dry season rice farms in the state.
The project coordinator expressed delight that rice farmers have proven that it could succeed in Ebonyi.
Ituma noted that the interventions include provision of irrigation pumps and adoption of modern technologies in rice planting.
“We are touring dry season farms in Ishiellu, Afikpo South and Ikwo LGA anchored on small scale irrigation projects with provision of irrigation pumps.
Most of the farms are on virgin lands as we assisted the farmers’ cooperative groups in land development, clearing the lands of trees and stumps’’, he said.
The SPC noted that the programme also provided tractor services to the farmers, assisted them with improved rice seedlings and impacted knowledge of modern rice-planting technologies into them.
He noted that IFAD-VCDP would continue encouraging farmers, especially those living along the Ebonyi River, to engage in dry season farming.
“We owe this success to the state government which offsets its counterpart funds and the IFAD-VCDP country office in Abuja which supports us tremendously.
The state governor has charged us to redouble our efforts in ensuring that Ebonyi is among the first to third highest rice producing states in the country and we are workings in that direction,” he said.
Mrs. EzinneOkoro, a Farmer in one of the dry season rice farms in Afikpo South LGA lauded IFAD-VCDP for the initiative and called on farmers to embrace it.