The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)- Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), spent over N96.9 million for construction and rehabilitation of cassava and rice processing facilities in Niger state.
The State Coordinator, Dr Mathew Ahmed, spoke at the 5th Supervision Mission of the fund in Wushishi and Bida local government areas of the state.
” IFAD-VCDP has assisted farmer groups in Niger to construct and rehabilitate cassava and rice processing centres in Wushishi and Bida local government areas at the cost of N96, 9 million. The projects are modern cassava processing centre on matching grant basis for Lokogoma cluster at the cost of N40.3million,” he said.
Ahmed said that the project contributed N36.2 million, being 90 per cent of the cost and technical expertise, while the farmers contributed 10 per cent by providing the land and assisting workers at the site.
The project coordinator said that the project also rehabilitated existing processing centres for the farmers at the cost of N14.5 million.
He said that rehabilitation of the existing centre involved purchasing of some equipment, such as presser at the matching grant of 70 per cent to 30 per cent cost by the project and the groups.
Ahmed noted that the project also constructed 13 apartment warehouses for Zaworo Rice Processing Mill in Bida at the cost of N23.6 million, and rehabilitated existing rice mill at the cost of N18.4 million.
Also speaking, Malam Shehu Mohammed, Chairman Lokogoma cluster, said that the group was made up of 276 farmers, including 170 males and 106 females.
Mohammed said that the group has over 1, 000 hectares, with cassava cultivated on 400 hectares, out of which 320 hectares belonging to the group and 80 hectares for the project’s activity.
Rev. John Kolo, Chairman, Zaworo Rice Processing Mill, Bida, who spoke, said that the group has set up operation and monitoring committee to manage the processing mill.
Kolo assured IFAD-VCDP of judicious utilisation of the facility in order to ensure continuity at the end of the intervention.
He said that the group was made up of 20 members, seven men, seven women and six youths.
Five local government areas in the state: Kontagora, Wushishi, Bida, Shiroro and Katcha are participating in the programme.
The Federal Government is also implementing a six year IFAD-VCDP in rice and cassava, which started in July 2014 in the six states of Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba.