By Adelola Amihere
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme has contributed $68.9 million to the Nigerian economy between 2014 and 2018, IFAD’s National Programme Coordinator, Dr. Ameh Onoja has said.
He disclosed this at a workshop organized by IFAD in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) on Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF), yesterday in Abuja explained that the rise in revenue value is a result of private sector participation which led to the annual sales of 140, 000 Metric tons (mt) of Rice and 30, 000mt of Cassava.
According to him: “Through this model, the program has doubled farmer’s income and created a reliable and sustainable raw materials supply system to processors in the participating states.
“The key private sector drivers of the platform are major off-takers like OLAM in Benue and Taraba, Onyx in Niger, Popular farms and FTK Cassava Mills in Taraba, Ebonyi Rice World in Ebonyi, Harvest Feeds and Agro-Processing Limited in Ogun and JOSAN Nigeria Limited in Anambra. The engagement of the private sector players by the VCDP through CAF has resulted in 140, 000 mt of rice and 30, 000 mt of cassava on an annual basis, which correspond to $68.9million as incremental sales and revenue into the Nigerian economy,” Onoja said.
The six participating states are Niger, Benue, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ogun and Taraba.
Onoja Onoja said CAF serves as a business transaction and knowledge sharing platform for farmers, government and private sectors in the participating states.
He commended the contributions of OLAM to the development of the rice value-chain and CAF in Benue, which he said earned the VCDP national and international awards.
While delivering his keynote address, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri lauded the initiative, stressing that the current administration had been working in partnership with the private sectors to ensure food security.
He said part of the partnership led to the establishment of the Nigeria Agribusiness Resource Centre aimed to enhance information flow for business and increase investments in the sector.
Lokpobiri who was represented by her Senior Technical Adviser on Agribusiness, Mrs. Eniye Ambakederemo, however lamented over problems of poor inputs, herders-farmers’ clashes, flooding which led to loss of lives and farm crops among others.
He restated commitment of the federal government to addressing the challenges.