ENUGU: FG, IFAD-VCDP Distribute Inputs To Over 90 Farmers In Enugu To Cushion Flood Effects

The Federal Government, through the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP), has distributed inputs worth millions of naira to support over 90 rural farmers for 2022/2023 dry season agriculture in Enugu.

The free agro- input, distributed recently at the IFAD/VCDP office in Enugu, were also meant to cushion the effect of 2022 flood on farmers in the state.

The distribution is on the platform of the Value Chain Development Program, supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD/VCDP).

Kick starting the event, the National Programme Coordinator, IFAD-VCDP, Dr. Fatima Aliyu, said IFAD was aware of the impact of 2022 flood on farmers and decided to help them with some farm inputs to cushion the effect.

According to Dr. Aliyu, IFAD noted that most of farmland were flooded and farmers lost what they planted, making their effort a waste.

“So IFAD in its magnanimity saw the need to support you to plough back your farm activities,” she said.

Aliyu represented by the Rural Institution, Gender and Youth Mainstreaming Adviser, IFAD-VCDP, Abuja,
Musa Dalang, listed the inputs given to farmers as 376 NPK fertilizers, 188 bags of Urea, 94 litres of selective herbicide and 94 non- selective herbicides.

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Others were 3.7 metric tonnes of rice seeds and 48 water pump.

She said, “It is a grant and not inputs you are expected to pay matching grant but completely free for those selected.

“They sent us a long list but only 94 among you were selected. So, consider it a great privilege and make good use of the inputs.”

Aliyu further advised the farmers saying: “we expect that moment you take delivery of these inputs, go and do the needful.

“First you raise your nursery and prepare a farmland, after three weeks you start transplanting and within next three months, you harvest your rice.”

She, however, commended Enugu State Government for supporting IFAD-VCDP farmers in the state by paying the counterpart funds.

In his remark, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi lauded farmers in the state, stressing that they had reason to be happy as IFAD is greatly touching their lives.

Ugwuanyi represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Mathew Idu, said Enugu State Government would continue to support farmers in the state.

“What the donor agencies is doing is to teach us how best to do it and it is our prayer when they exit, that we will continue to do what they taught us and do it even better than they taught us,” Ugwuanyi remarked.

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He, therefore, warned the beneficiaries never to sell the inputs given to them but to use of them to better their lives and the state in general.

The Programme Manager, Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme (ENADEP), Dr. Ogbonna Onyeisi, noted that what flood did to farmers in the country called for concern to ensure food security.

While urging farmers in the state to be patient, Onyeisi stressed that security challenge like herdsmen attack would one day be over.

He said if the government want food security, and agriculture to contribute to national development and secure farmers, something should be done urgently to tackle challenges facing farmers.

Earlier, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC) IFAD/VCDP, Dr. Edward Isiwu, said that each of the 94 selected farmers would go home with four bags of NPK fertilizer, two bags of Urea, 40kg of seed rice and one selective and one non-selective herbicides.

“So today, what each of them is going home with is not less than N300, 000,” he said.

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Isiwu noted that IFAD had early this year distributed free farm inputs to 439 IFAD/VCDP farmers in Enugu State to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

He explained that the idea of the programme was to cushion the devastating effect of flood to farmers in the state and help them recoup their losses.

Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Evelyn Nwaru, Mr. Ignatius Onyeabochukwu, both from Aninri LGA; Mrs. Joy Nwafor from Nkanu East LGA, and a youth entrepreneur, Mr. John Edeoga, said IFAD/VCDP was different from other agricultural programmes in state, pointing out that handlers of the programme had remained helpful and organised.