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IFAD commences inputs distribution to 129 rice farmers in Taraba

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Thursday began the distribution of inputs to 129 rice farmers across seven local government areas (LGAs) of Taraba.

Gov. Agbu Kefas, who launched the distribution at a ceremony in Jalingo, commended IFAD for boosting rice production, processing, and marketing in the state over the years.

Represented by Prof. Nicholas Namessan, the Taraba Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Kefas said that his administration placed priority on agriculture in view of its efforts towards ensuring food security.

He explained that Taraba was up-to-date with the payment of counterpart funding for VCDP and would continue to do so for the benefit of the people.

He advised benefiting farmers to use the inputs for the purpose intended, which he said was to boost rice production in the state.

“Let me therefore use this opportunity to appeal to benefiting farmers to use the inputs for the purpose intended.

”The government will not take it lightly with any farmer caught diverting or reselling the inputs,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Irimiya Musa, the State Programme Coordinator of IFAD, explained that the VCDP intervention across nine states of the federation was aimed at improving the living conditions of indigent people in rural areas.

Musa listed the nine states with the mandate to develop a value chain for rice and cassava as Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun, Taraba, Enugu, Nasarawa, and Kogi.

Musa also noted that the 129 beneficiaries in Taraba were drawn from Ardo-kola, Bali, Donga, Gassol, Jalingo, Karim Lamido, Takum, and Wukari LGAs, which were the program-implementing areas.

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“The benefiting farmers will be supported with inputs for one or two hectares, in consonance with their submitted and approved business plans.

“However, the benefiting farmers will pay 50 percent of the total cost of the inputs, while the programme pays the balance of 50 percent, under an arrangement known as the Matching Grant Model,” he said.

Musa lauded the Taraba State Government for its unwavering support of agriculture, particularly the VCDP, where the enabling environment for the programme to thrive in the state had been created. (NAN)

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