By Peter Okolie
Omor (Anambra) Aug. 11, 2020 The International Fund for Agricultural Development and Federal Government assisted Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD/FG-VCDP) have concluded distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers for the 2020 wet farming season in Anambra.
The State Programme Coordinator of the IFAD/FG-VCDP, Mr Nnamdi Agwuncha stated this on Tuesday at a redemption centre at Omor community in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state.
Agwuncha expressed confidence that the inputs would help the farmers grow their crops effectively to avert food shortage in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
The programme officer, who promised the farmers additional support, urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious utilisation of the inputs while abiding by the WHO and NCDC COVID-19 prevention protocols.
Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Chukwukwelu, the state VCDP Production Officer said that an input team from the programme would monitor the usage at the various farms in the eight participating local government areas.
Chukwukwelu disclosed that over 2,900 rice and cassava farmers were mapped out for the inputs disbursement on 2,791 hectares of farmland.
“For the Rice Farmer Organisations, we gave four bags of NPK fertilisers, two bags of Urea, two bottles and two litters of non-selective agro-chemicals as well as 50kg of certified rice seeds.
“The cassava farmers benefited four bags of NPK fertilisers, 2 bottles of selective and two litters non-selective agro-chemicals as well as 50 bundles of cassava stems per hectare.
“Formerly, we disbursed at 50 per cent but now, we gave them at 40 per cent while IFAD/FG-VCDP pays 60 per cent for mixed group.
“For the women or youth only groups, FG/IFAD-VCDP gave at 30 per cent while it paid the remaining 70 per cent,” the production officer, explained.
Chukwukwelu, who said some rice and cassava farmers under the programme had already achieved 10 tons per hectares, noted that the programme was targeting to scale up the production among other farmers.
“We also want the cassava farmers to scale up production from 30 tons to about 40 tons per hectare.
“That is why we follow up with the farmers with trainings, while seeking ways to mitigate the challenges of tractors and land preparations,” he noted.
News Agency Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the farmers that benefited from inputs including Mr Benjamin Okonkwor of Ifite-Ogwari United Group and Mrs Elizabeth Mmebo of Njikoka Cooperative Society Umueze-Anam commended IFAD/FG-VCDP for the gesture.
However, they appealed for access to loans and transportation of the inputs to their various farms