By Peter Okolie
Achalla (Anambra), Oct. 8, 2020 (NAN) The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has pledged additional infrastructure and capacity building for rice farmers in Anambra.
IFAD’s Market Enterprise Development Advisor, Hajiya Fatima Mukhtar-Buhari, made the pledge on Thursday during her working visit to the state.
Naija247news reports that Mukhtar-Buhari interacted with rice and cassava farmers and inaugurated a remodeled rice mill at Achalla in Awka North Local Government Area of the state.
She also visited Coscharis Rice Mill at Igbariam in Anambra East Local Government Area, where she commended efforts of rice stakeholders in the state.
She described agriculture as key to national development, saying that farmers, especially youths and women, needed more support in capacity building, equipment and infrastructure.
Muktar-Buhari lauded Gov. Willie Obiano for supporting farmers in the state and underscored the need for a robust synergy between the rice farmers and off-takers.
In a remark, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba, said the state would continue to enhance the agricultural sector through the various programmes for farmers.
Onukwuba said that the state government had purchsed 50 threshers for distribution to farmer groups to help them during harvest.
In their separate speeches, the leader of Rice Marketing Platform, Mr Peter Emeka, and a youth leader, Mr Fidelis Ozo, both from Ayamelum Local Government Area, commended IFAD for supporting rural farmers.
Emeka said they had evolved strategies to help them sustain the rice production after the value chain development programme (VCDP) had wound down.
“We have established the Commodity Agricultural Forum, which is driven by the stakeholders from production to marketing, as an exit strategy to help us sustain the programme.
“The forum ensures synergy among stakeholders and has built our confidence when VCDP eventually winds down,” Ozo said.
By Peter Okolie