Utilise your rice inputs to boost production, IFAD advises beneficiaries
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has advised rice farmers in Ebonyi who benefitted from the Fund’s rice inputs distribution to utilise them to boost production.
The IFAD Coordinator in Ebonyi, Mr Sunday Ituma, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abakaliki.
Ituma who commended the state government for its agricultural revolution programme, called on benefitting farmers to make good use of the inputs to accelerate rice production.
He assured that IFAD’s State Office would ensure effective monitoring of the inputs distribution to ensure that the material got to the real owners.
He said that the procurement of the farm inputs was facilitated through joint partnership of the Ebonyi Government and IFAD under the Value Chain Development Programme.
He said the initiative was to encourage rice farmers in the state to boost production of the commodity.
“The programme development goal is to reduce rural poverty, increase food security and accelerate economic growth on a sustainable basis.
“We have ensured that those charged with the responsibility of distributing the inputs did not divert the items through thorough and effective monitoring.
“We are optimistic that with effective use of the rice farm inputs by the beneficiaries, there will be bumper yield during harvest season, “Ituma assured.
He said that the programme was being implemented under three major components, including agricultural market development, small holder productivity enhancement and programme management and coordination.
Ituma explained that no fewer than 6,245 IFAD farmers were supported during the 2016 farming season, while the intervention added 25,000 metric tonnes of paddy to the rice production output of the state and injected over N4 billion into the state economy.
“The programme has given boost to farming activities in the state resulting in increased revenue earnings for the government,” he added.
NAN reports that five local government areas- Ikwo, Izzi, Ishielu, Ohaozara and Afikpo North are currently benefitting from the inputs distribution exercise.
NAN also reports that inputs for distribution include: NPK fertilizer, urea fertilizer, improved rice seedlings, agro-chemicals, irrigation pipes, among others.