Enugu State Pledges To Sustain IFAD/VCDP Agricultural Programmes
The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has pledged to support and sustain the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) and others to promote agriculture.
This was disclosed on Sunday by the Governor in Enugu during the IFAD-VCDP Commodity Fair for Value Chain Operators.
Ugwuanyi stated that when the IFAD-VCDP program and others are completed with its own policies, the state government will maintain them, replicate them in other areas, and will also support international donors to improve agriculture in the state.
“It is necessary to learn what they taught us about the new farming system and continue when the project ends. “If they are making 30 per cent, we increase it annually until we are satisfied that we have farmers who can produce and ensure food security in Enugu. “I think Enugu State will do it, having seen how agriculture contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state,” he said.
Still speaking, the Governor revealed that the government would organize the largest agricultural expo where farmers in the state, with the help of agencies, could display their agricultural products, adding that what FIDA-VCDP had shown was a mini expo, compared to what the state would have in December.
“What we intend to have is a macro-exhibition that offers farmers the opportunity to exhibit their products,” he said.
Earlier, IFAD’s Coordinator of State Programs, Dr. Edward Isiwu, said the fair was intended to show what they produced from the inputs they received in 2021. In his words: “In 2021, we gave the farmers of the 5 LGAs some agricultural products, such as the Faro 44 species of rice seeds and the TME 419 species of cassava stalks to plant.We told them that after a year, they will come and show us what they had produced. This is an Agric Show Report, and I’m happy they didn’t let us down, but I’m proud of what they produced. Many of them received rice seeds, but they came here with a lot of processed rice, some with cassava, but they multiplied it into various value chains like chinchin and other sweets,” Isiwu said.
The coordinator noted that IFAD had committed millions of naira to support farmers in the state through the provision of basic services and market infrastructure.
He explained that IFAD had spent millions of naira to construct solar energy wells, rice processing mills, sewers, bridges, market stalls, and market shops, as well as develop hectares of land for farmers in the five LGAs, as well as water pumping machines and other infrastructure.
“I am proud of the Enugu farmers because they did not waste or sell what we gave them, and we are eagerly awaiting when the state government calls us for the exhibition,” he said.
One beneficiary, Ms. Felicia Aneke from Udenu LGA, expressed her gratitude to IFAD for the training and agricultural inputs provided. “Now we can grow what we eat and sell, they even taught us the nutritional values of the plants,” she said.