World Bank to help 10,000 farmers in Kaduna

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No fewer than 10,000 small holder farmers in Kaduna State are to benefit from the World Bank Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS).

The State Coordinator of the project, Dr Yahya Aminu, disclosed this at a one-day sensitization workshop on Policy Alignment and Collaboration in the implementation of APPEALS, a World Bank project for six selected in states in Nigeria.

According to Agency reports, World Bank is implementing the APPEALS programme through a $200 million grant as support to the benefitting states.

The benefitting states include Kaduna, Lagos, Kano, Cross River, Kogi and Enugu, and are meant to enhance the agro-processing, productivity and livelihood of the citizens.

Aminu explained that the project was in line with the Federal Government Agricultural Promotion Policy focusing on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification.

He noted that the project would enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains, including dairy, ginger and maize in Kaduna state.

“This will be achieved through supporting farmers’ productivity and their linkage to markets.

“It will also facilitate agricultural products and cottage processing, facilitating farmers and small and medium businesses’ clustering and connection to infrastructure network and business services,“ he said.

According to him, the project is targeting 10,000 direct beneficiaries and 50,000 indirect beneficiaries in Kaduna state.

He assured that 35 per cent of the beneficiaries would be women, while five to 10 per cent beneficiaries would be people with disabilities.

Mr Barnabas Bantex, the state Deputy Governor, who declared the event opened, said the state attracted more than $500 million investments in the agriculture sector within the last four years.

Bantex, however, said: “Since 2015 Kaduna State has attracted investments in the sector of over US$500 million with Olam, the largest Hatchery and Feed mill in Sub-Saharan Africa, investing $150 million.

“Last week, I had commissioned a modern milking Parlour with daily production capacity of 2000 liters through collaboration between the Kaduna State Government, Arla Food of Denmark and Zaidi Farms limited,“ he said.

The deputy governor said agriculture remained a priority sector to the State Government in the effort to that is attracting high investments in the state.

According to the deputy governor, the workshop was timely and appropriate, coming at a time that the present administration is working diligently to transform the economy of the state through development of the Agriculture Sector.

He said that the project would support the state government policy thrust and priorities to enhance agricultural productivity of Small and Medium Scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains.

“Kaduna State Government is recording landmark achievements in its drive to promote agriculture. The Government is creating opportunities for investment in Agriculture and the results are encouraging.

“You may wish to recall that last week the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit 4.0 took place with the theme: Expanding Investment Frontiers.

Bantex said the state government had already released N48 million as marching funds for the project; “which to my knowledge is the only participating state has given this funding for the project.“

Oyedeyi Samson

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