The acting National Project Coordinator of West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) Mr. James Apochi, said WAAPP-Nigeria has distributed thirty-six million improved fingerlings to farmers in the last three years.
Mr. Apochi stated this when he paid a courtesy call on the chairman Senate committee on Agriculture Senator Abdullahi Adamu in Keffi Nassarawa state North-Central Nigeria.
He said the programme had developed brood stock that produces eggs all year round and have been equally distributed to farmers across the country.
Apochi said the WAAPP-Nigeria improved variety of improved fingerlings, grows to stable size within 16 weeks.
The Coordinator said the inland waters in the country were enough to make Nigeria self sufficient in fish production and a net exporter of fish.
He said WAAPP-Nigeria has a mandate to support the government to boost agriculture in the country.
“WAAPP is that vehicle that can drive the Government change mantra to increase agricultural productivity in Nigeria because WAAPP is all encompassing.
“We are generating technology, disseminating it and building the capacity of farmers that would lead to increased productivity,”
He further stated that, communities’ benefiting from the WAAPP-Nigeria project had increased from 25 to over 500 across the country with over 1.8million farmer beneficiaries and that WAAPP-Nigeria is partnering 15 Agricultural Research Institutes, 11 Collages of Agriculture and 14 Federal Universities to achieve its objectives.
While responding, Senator Abdullahi Adamu said he is a beneficiary of WAAPP-Nigeria as he is a farmer himself.
He said he has 35 hectares of maize some of which were WAAPP improved varieties and will like to partner WAAPP-Nigeria in the area of aquaculture.
He said the importance of WAAPP-Nigeria cannot be over emphasised as it contributes to the growth and productivity of Agriculture
“Unless we sustain the little efforts WAAPP is making, the little grounds we have covered could be destroyed.
“‘One of the things we cry about in government is inconsistency in policy; this is a sub regional organisation, they will lead the way to attain the benefits not like a one stop shop but with continuity.
“‘We will do anything within the laws of the land and within the law establishing WAAPP to ensure sustainability,” he said.
The West African Agricultural Productivity Programme is a regional Project of ECOWAS and a World Bank sponsored programme to boost agriculture in the West African sub region, it is a ten years program with a five years renewal period based on performance.