By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, said that it has directly invested $604.6 million in Nigeria’s agricultural sector through domestic and international co-financing between 2016 and 2023.
It said that 5,144,805 persons across 28 states of the country benefitted from viable interventions initiated by the programme.
Making this revelation, the Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser, FGN/CPAT-Country Programme Advisory Team, Mr Abdulhameed Girai, at a two-day Regional Consultative Workshop for Nigeria 2024 to 2029 project,
disclosed this on Thursday in Maiduguri, said that the beneracieries benefited under its Country Strategic Opportunities Programme, COSOP, in the past severn years.
Girai said that IFAD is providing viable interventions to support farmers and facilitate sustainable agricultural development in the country.
He listed the programmes to include: Value Chain Development Program VCDP; the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Programme, LIFE-ND, and Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone, SAPZ.
He said that the beneficiaries had also benefited from other IFAD’s intervention such as creating employment opportunities for rural youths in Africa and support to integrate agribusiness hubs in Nigeria.
He said, “Youth Empowerment in Agri-Business and Sustainable Agriculture Projects YEASA, Promoting Sustainable Cage Agriculture in West Africa, proSCAWA, as well as Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria, ATN, towards achieving zero hunger initiative.
“FGN/IFAD projects have supported and strengthened 4,464 farmer organisations; 51,415 rural producers; 3,761 marketing groups; 240 Community Development Associations, CDAs, and 138 Financial Saving Associations, FSAs.”
He stressed that the aim of the workshop was to interact and get feedback from stakeholders, government officials, farmers and youths on how to improve the next programme for 2024 to 2029.
Also, IFAD’s Financial Inclusion Specialist, Mr Yusuf Halliru, said that the exercise was designed to allow for consultations to fast track implementation of the programme.
“We are ending the one for 2016/2023 because the stakeholders need to own the document, IFAD finds it necessary to come to the regions to speak to the beneficiaries.
“We want to get the feedback of beneficiaries, stakeholders in terms of what is their expectations from the viewpoint of the farmers, women, persons with disabilities.”
Similarly; the Programme Manager, Borno State Agricultural Development Programme, BSADP, said that the workshop would chart a way towards achieving greater goals of IFAD programme.
He said that the programme had encouraged agricultural productivity and improved income generation of over 200,000 farmers in Borno State.