Posted by News Express | 21 April 2016 | 2,533 times
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is to assist 12, 500 farmers in Ebonyi with agricultural interventions worth N500 million under its Value Chain Development Programme.
The IFAD Programme Coordinator in Ebonyi, Mr Sunday Ituma, made the disclosure in Abakaliki on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to him, 2,500 farmers drawn from five local government areas of Izzi, Ikwo, Ishiellu, Afikpo South and Ohaozara will benefit from the programme which is in its pilot stage.
“The farmers will be given farm inputs, such as seedlings, land preparation, fertilisers and agro-chemical, all at 50 per cent subsidy.
“The objective is to complement the state government’s efforts in achieving massive rice production to meet both internal and external needs.
“We are currently embarking on profiling of benefiting farmers to ensure that the interventions are equitably distributed.”
The coordinator said that IFAD had commenced construction of access roads in the five benefiting local government areas at the cost of over N400million.
“We have concluded the design and other requirements of the project, as the contract would be awarded soon.
“We are developing over 200 hectares of land at Ezillo farm under mechanised agriculture.
“The consultants appointed by our headquarters have finalised and submitted their reports.”
He said that the consultants were also working to inaugurate three rice processing centres with a model centre at the Abakaliki Rice Mill.
“This is intended to make the millers change from old rice processing methods to improved and more efficient ones.
“This will ensure that the quality of rice processed at the mills compete favourably with those in the international market and make the state the home of rice production in the country.” (NAN)
•Photo shows Governor Umahi.
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