The International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded by smallholder rice and cassava farmers in Taraba with its intervention.
Mr Samuel Eremie, the VCDP team leader, disclosed this on Monday in Jalingo after a tour of completed projects executed by the programme in Wukari and Gassol Local Government Areas.
Eremie stated that the mid-term review team of the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) now has two years to wind down.
He said the programme had so far turned around the fortunes of over 5, 000 small-holder rice and cassava farmers through training, inputs support and linkage to the market.
‘‘I am impressed with the VCDP performance in enhancing the standard of living of smallholder farmers in Taraba.
‘‘I urge you benefiting farmers to begin to plan for sustainability of the programme as the project will end in 2019.
‘‘I am happy to see that rural farmers in the state can now pay their children’s school fees and take care of their basic needs,’’ he said.
Eremie also urged the farmers to make maximum use of rice and cassava processing plants built in their communities to improve their living standard.
He explained that the mid-term review was meant to evaluate the progress so far made, so as to develop strategies for improving in the remaining two years.
In his remarks, Mr Irimya Musa, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC), urged the benefiting farmers to always protect the facilities provided by the programme in their domains.
He challenged the farmers to continue to transfer the knowledge from series of training on best agronomic practices to others for a better society.
The SPC noted that the programme would extend its interventions to other crops and vegetables, having recorded incredible success in rice and cassava production, processing and marketing.
Musa thanked Gov. Darius Ishaku for the prompt payment of the state’s counterpart fund for the smooth operation of the programme in the state.
Mrs Wakasa Solomon of Tsundi cluster said VCDP had changed their agricultural activities story for the better.
She noted that the new methods of farming, processing and marketing introduced by the programme had made farming attractive and interesting.