The Nigerian government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have commended the implementation of the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Niger.
D.r Maimuna Habib, Director, Projects Coordinating Unit, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, who made the remark in Wushishi, described the programme as a huge success.
She stated this during an identification mission of the federal and state governments and IFAD to the VCDP participating farmer groups in Wushishi and Bida areas of the state.
Habib announced that the federal government through the ministry was ready to assist the farmers with farm implements.
She called for inclusion of more women in the programme to enable them own businesses and assist their families.
Similarly, Dr Jonathan Agwe, IFAD Lead Regional Technical Specialist for Rural Finance, Market and Enterprises, said that the programme has succeeded in the state.
He said that arrangements had been concluded to expand and extend the programme beyond the year 2020 when it was supposed to terminate to the next three years.
The next phase of the extention of three years programme is expected begin in 2023.
Agwe said that the various farmer organisations would be updated on how to sustain the programmte when it wound up.
He said that the VCDP has contributed positively to the rural economy of the country.
Earlier, Dr Matthew Ahmed, the Programme Coordinator in the state said that good performance earned the state the inclusion of three more local government areas on the programme.
Ahmed said that the programme was able to access more funds to extend it for the next three years, adding that three states of Enugu, Nasarawa and Kogi would be included in the second phase of the Programme starting 2023.
He said that the VCDP was working with 16,000 farmers in the state and that out of the figure, 8,000 had been encouraged to go into dry season farming.