To ensure the attainment of food security, the Federal Government, in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, has distributed farming inputs to 619 farmers in Nasarawa State for the 2023/2024 dry season farming. The National Programme Coordinator of the FGN/IFAD Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), Fatima Aliyu, stated this while speaking at the distribution exercise in Lafia. Aliyu, explained that the gesture was also aimed at ensuring that farmers across the benefiting local government areas of Lafia, Doma, Nasarawa and Karu were able to boost their capacities and cultivate enough food for the increasing population in the areas.
Fatima, who was represented by one of her aides, Shehu Hamza, added that the initiative would help farmers to alleviate their sufferings, and enable them to enhance productivity while embarking on dry-season farming. “I am delighted to be at this special occasion of the flag-off/distribution of inputs for the 2023/2024 dry season farming to VCDP farmers in Nasarawa State. Let me sincerely commend farmers in the state for making themselves available for the several training, and being able to adopt new technologies, which has greatly improved their performances. We believe that this support by the FGN/IFAD VCDP will go a long way in assisting our farmers to cultivate several crops during this season that would help to ensure food security”, Aliyu added.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Umar Dan’akano, while commending the Federal Government and IFAD for initiating the programme, called on the beneficiaries to utilise the inputs to achieve the best results. Dan’akano further assured of the state government’s commitment to continue to give the needed support to the FG and IFAD in order to ensure the success of the programme in the state. He said, “I would like to use this opportunity to salute the unwavering commitment of the FGN/IFAD VCDP in Nasarawa State for strengthening rice and cassava value chains as well as improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers on a sustainable basis.
“Let me urge our farmers in the benefiting local government areas (LGAs) to fully deploy the knowledge they have acquired through the VCDP over the years, to surmount the challenges of unstable weather conditions, food scarcity, pest infestation, and birds invasion, among others”, he noted. The state Programme Coordinator of the FGN/IFAD VCDP, Eunice Adgidzi, while explaining that the 619 beneficiaries belonged to 48 farmers organisations in the state, mentioned the inputs to include 6,150kg of improved rice seeds, 738 bags of fertilizers, and 246 litres of selective and non-selective herbicides. One of the beneficiaries, Sabo Mageni, thanked the FG and IFAD for supporting them with the farming inputs and promised to use the items judiciously.