The Federal Government has announced on Friday that World Bank has set aside the sum of 200 million dollars for FADAMA 111 Additional Financing Project in the country.
Mr Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture announced the figure at the official Flag-off of FADAMA 111 Additional Financing Cassava Intervention Project in Awa Iman in Onna Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the World Bank had supported FADAMA 111 project with N200 million dollars for four value chains For Cassava, Rice, Tomato and Sorghum.
“Federal Government approach the bank for support, N200 million dollars credit was approved to support four value chains of Cassava, Rice, Tomato and Sorghum for six core states.
“We all know what is happening to our oil and the need to provide food for our teeming population.
“This decision was taking to open up the projects to other states that have potentials in these six value chains.
Ogbeh, who was represented by Mr Peter Ajibade, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture said more value chains would help to realise the objectives in providing food for the country.
“It is desire that this country will not only feed its self but we will export to our neighboring nations,’’ Ogbeh said.
Also speaking, Mr Tayo Adewunmi, National Project Coordinator, FADAMA 111 Additional Financing Project, described FADAMA 111 Additional Financing Project as a “game changer in Agricultural Development”.
“This is because, rather than the old system of subsistence agriculture or even supporting individual small holders farmers, the additional financing is looking at the totally agricultural commodity value chain.
“We are also looking at the issue of clusterization of farmers, we look at agriculture right now as a business.
“That is why the funding instrument in Additional Financing has gone from the local development to trailing the project had in the previous FADAMA to business plan.
“Right now farmers are giving head start in Agricultural business, they have the capacity to negotiate market and determine what prices their commodities will go for at the end of the day.
“It is no longer a situation where somebody who have big money out there, will come and buy off these farmers and at the end of the day, they become losers,’’ Adewunmi said.
Adewunmi, represented by Gbenga Olukoyo said that FADAMA 111 Additional Financing was initially meant for six states, adding that Akwa Ibom was the seventh state to join fadama additional financing project.
“I want to let you know that Akwa Ibom is one of the earliest state to come on board among the new entrance into the additional financing when the door was opened,’’ he said.
He expressed appreciation that the state government had paid their counterpart fund of the project while describing Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom as a friend of farmer”.
“Because of what the government of Akwa Ibom is ready to do, from the box of big bowl of 200 million dollars the fadama 111 additional financing as long as the farmers are encouraged, empowered and enabled to do agriculture right.
“You can have as much as you can from the big bowl of money that is there for farmers,’’ Adewunmi said.
Adewunmi advised Gov. Emmanuel to encourage the people to take agricultural business seriously in the state.
He said that several commodities had been packaged and many exported through FADAMA 111 project.
“Akwa Ibom is also one of our states to have FADAMA farmers micro finance bank, from what we call FADAMA users equity fund which is savings that our farmers put aside.
“Out of the support from the project, at the end of the day, it has become something worthwhile.
“Today we have the first micro finance bank in this country, not long for now, Akwa Ibom will be next state to have FADAMA Micro Finance bank,’’ Adewunmi said.
Gov. Emmanuel who flag-off the project, expressed appreciation that the official flag-off of FADAMA 111 Addition Financing Cassava Intervention Project happened in his village, Awa Iman in Onna Local Government Area.
He said the project inaugurated was commitment to ensuring that the state embrace agriculture as viable guaranteed means of diversifying economy of the state.