KADUNA: FG Support 60,000 Persons On Agro-Processing, Support Value Chain Project

By Lola Seriki-Idahosa, KADUNA  …About 60, 000 women, youths and People Living With Disabilities (PWD), in Kaduna State are to benefit from the Federal Government’s agro-processing and support value chain project

The project, Agro-processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), is a project developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank with over $200 million to cover six states.

The project is in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy “The Green Alternative” that focuses on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification. Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, C/River, Kogi, and Enugu are the six participating states with dairy, ginger, tomato, cassava, rice, cocoa cashew, wheat, poultry, aquaculture, and maize value chains.

Speaking at a one-day stakeholders sensitization workshop in Kaduna, Dr. Yahaya Aminu, Kaduna State Coordinator of the project, disclosed that, “the project targets 10,000 direct beneficiaries and 50,000 indirect
beneficiaries in Kaduna State.

“At least 35% (3500) of direct beneficiaries will be women and at least 5-10% (500-1000) will be People with Disabilities (PWD). The project has a component to benefit women and youth that will allow them to develop agri-businesses that are expected to create jobs and improve their livelihoods.”

Dr. Yahaya, explained that, the project is met to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains that are Dairy, Ginger and Maize for Kaduna State.

This he said, will be achieved through supporting farmers’ productivity and their linkage to markets, facilitating consolidation of agricultural products and cottage processing facilitating farmers and small and medium businesses’ clustering and
connection to infrastructure network and business services.

According to him, “the project is expected to achieve; increase in productivity of agricultural produce of priority value chains of farmers supported by the project, increase in processed output of priority value chains by project beneficiaries.”

Kaduna State Deputy Governor Arc
Barnabas Bala, who was represented at the event by Dr. Abdulkadir Kasim, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, who is also the chairman state technical committee of the project, said, the state government is recording landmark achievements in its drive to promote agriculture.

According to him, “we are not relenting in our desire to engineer transition in agriculture from small-scale subsistence activity to a market oriented commercially viable business. This is the reason why Kaduna State is one of the six states collaborating with the Federal Government and the World Bank in the implementation of project.

“It is not by accident that Kaduna State selected Dairy, Ginger and Maize as its
PVCs for the APPEALS project. Let me reiterate that the choice is deliberate
Maize is selected to promote food security, ginger is for its export potential
and dairy is to improve livelihood. These will support our drive to create jobs
improve standard of living and attract investment into the economy of our
dear State.

“Kaduna State is an agrarian state with over 70% of the population engaged in
crop and livestock production. It has a land area of 4.5million hectares out of
which 2 million is arable land. Nigeria is the 10th producer of maize in the
world, while Kaduna is the leading the pack in national maize production. Every
part of the crop can used as food, feed and fuel. We are also the largest
producer of fresh ginger and investment in ginger production and processing
can create over 5000 jobs.

“Nigeria is the largest producer of cow milk in West Africa. Kaduna State has estimated number of 2 million cattle and about 800,000 milking cows, but produces just a little above 400,000 litres of milk per annum, mainly by pastoralists. The opportunity of investment is awesome.

“The project will support government policy thrust and priorities for the
agriculture sector. Our support for the Project will be unrelenting. The
Government has already released a take-off grant of forty eight million (N48m) for the Project, which to my knowledge is the only participating state that has given this funding for the project.

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