Benue cassava farmers get N100million free inputs from IFAD to boost food production
MAKURDI...........At least 5,000 cassava farmers in Benue state have been offered over 10,000 bags of free fertilizers, herbicides and other inputs valued at over N100million by International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, to boost food production in the state.
Flagging off the presentations at Ogbadibo, Okpokwu and Guma local government areas of the state, Benue IFAD-VCDP State Project Coordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum said each of the benefitting farmer was to receive two liters of herbicides from the organization at no cost.
He said aside the contribution of his organization to boost cassava cultivation in the state, each of the 2,500 benefiting farmers through their cluster groups would also receive same quantity of counterpart support from the state government.
Igbaukum said, "with the arrangement, each farmer is expected to cultivate a hectare of farmland with four bags of fertilizer and four liters of herbicides to boost their annual yield, earnings and livelihood which is the main trust of the IFAD-VCDP."
In his speech, the Benue state Commission for Agriculture, Mr. James Anbua cautioned the benefitting farmers against diverting the inputs warning that the state government would not hesitate to take punitive measures against defaulters.
Anbua said, "the state government is investing much in agricultural development, we are urging the people to make good use of the oppotunity to improve themselves.
"In line with the diversification policy of the government we are paying greater attention to agricultural development which is obviously the bedrock of our economic resuscitation policy and all farmers are advised to key into it."
BY PETER DURU