World bank sets aside $50m for North east agriculture

The World Bank, under the FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF11), has set aside $50 million (N15.25billion) to rehabilitate the agricultural needs of the North East in 2017.

The National Coordinator of the project, Mr Tayo Adewumi, disclosed the plan in Abuja on Thursday when members of the Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ACAN) visited him.

Adewumi listed the six benefiting states as Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe.

He said the support which would be 100 per cent World Bank-funded, would help the beneficiaries to make a decent living.

The coordinator said the support would include certified improved seeds, foodstuff and other inputs, depending on the Communities’ Action Plan (CAP).

“ We are putting in a lot of safeguards, caution in moving into the region but we are convinced with the package we have in our hands.

“ We will be working with households and from the theoretical point of view, we are targeting more than 24,000 households.

“ There will be some elements of infrastructure that would support agricultural activities and restoring livelihoods in some communities,’’ he said.

The programme which officially started on March 1, 2016 was presented to the Board of Trustees of the World Bank in June for approval and inaugurated in October in Adamawa and Kebbi States.

Adewunmi said that the selection of communities was done through Community Action Plan (CAP) and the project was working in line with the communities’ needs.

The coordinator explained that the support would be aimed at ensuring food security and better livelihood for citizens in the affected areas.

Adewumi said the support project would run for between 15 months to 19 months.

He assured that Nigeria could be self sufficient in food production and export to other countries when citizens began to see agriculture as business.

Earlier, Mr John Oba, President of ACAN, said that the association had been working with the Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies to promote agriculture in the country.

“ Our mission is to work cordially with every agency under agriculture to help the Federal Government’s mission in the diversification of the economy.

“We are here to introduce ourselves and know more about the activities of the Fadama and we are ready to collaborate with the programme.

“ Fadama activities need to be well known to all Nigerians and our partnership will go a long way to showcase this,’’ he said.

The Fadama support clusters of farmers in selected states with comparative advantage, high potential to increase production and productivity of cassava, rice, sorghum and the horticulture value chain.