The Value Chain Development Programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD-VCDP) has injected 68.9 million US dollars into the Nigerian economy.
This was disclosed yestaerday by Ms. Mariatu Kamara, IFAD Programme Officer, in Abuja at the 2018 National Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF).
She said the engagement of private-sector players by IFAD-VCDP through the CAF initiative had resulted in the production of 140,000 tonnes of rice and 30,000 tonnes of cassava annually, generating about 68.9 million dollars as revenue.
Kamara said in Benue State alone, 25,000 tonnes of rice and cassava were produced, while about nine million dollars was realised.
She said CAF had been a success story, adding that government should, therefore, replicate the programme in other parts of the country, apart from Benue, Taraba, Ogun, Anambra, Kebbi, Nasarawa and Niger states that were currently participating in the IFAD-VCDP.
Kamara pledged that IFAD would continue to provide relevant support for the government and citizens of Nigerian to engender the development of rural communities.
Speaking, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, commended the achievements of the CAF initiative, describing the programme as a boost to the Federal Government’s agricultural promotion policy.
“The VCDP partnership with OLAM under the CAF initiative has attracted global attention.
“I urge other states to understand CAF and liaise with VCDP to replicate the successful model in their states,’’ he said.
Lokpobiri, who was represented by Mrs Eniye Ambakederemo, his Special Technical Adviser Agric-Business, said the initiative had enhanced the rice revolution scheme in the country, while strengthening efforts to achieve food security.
He said the Federal Government was determined to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production and completely put an end to rice importation.
Lokpobiri said as part of efforts to achieve quality rice processing in the country, government had procured 10 giant rice processing mills worth N10 billion.
He said that the mills would be installed in Bayelsa and nine other states.