Spread the love
March 4, 2024

FGN, IFAD plan 5-yr programme to empower smallholder farmers in S/South region

Spread the love

Stakeholders at IFAD’s Country Strategic Opportunities Programme(COSOP) Design Regional Technical Consultations Workshop for 2024-2029, held on Monday in Asaba, Delta pix by NAN

By Ifeanyi Olannye
The Federal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have commenced a review of its agriculture intervention programme to empower smallholder farmers in the South south region of the country.
This was disclosed at the IFAD’s Country Strategic Opportunities Programme(COSOP) Design Regional Technical Consultations Workshop for 2024-2029,  on Monday in Asaba, Delta.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stakeholders from Delta, Edo, Bayelsa and Cross River states, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, IFAD consultants, civil society organisations, financial institution representatives, private individuals and farmers participated in the process.
Addressing the workshop, Dr Chinwe Onyegbula, IFAD Consultant, said that the gains of the FGN/IFAD interventions through COSOP(2016-2023) had informed the review and regional consultation for COSOP(2024-2029).
She said that the consultation would cover all the benefiting states in the six geopolitical zones of the country that had benefited from the FGN/IFAD programmes since 2016 till date.
According to her, the overall goal of the project is to promote a rural economy in which the targeted population can derive prosperity and equal benefit from economic growth.
Stakeholders at IFAD’s Country Strategic Opportunities Programme(COSOP) Design Regional Technical Consultations Workshop for 2024-2029, held on Monday in Asaba, Delta pix by NAN
“The strategic objective is to enhance smallholder farmer, productivity, profitability and access to market.
“To Forster the economic empowerment of rural youth, women and people living with disabilities (PWDs) along agricultural value chains among others.”
She added that no fewer than five million Nigerians directly benefited from the COSOP (2016-2023) in 28 states in six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
While declaring the event open, Mr Ben Agamah, Permanent Secretary, Delta State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, highlighted insecurity, climate change, access to finance as some of the challenges confronting farmers.
Agamah, represented by Mr Felix Okonti, in the ministry, thanked FGN and IFAD for their support, adding that Delta Government was committed to developing the agricultural sector seeing that the sector supports more that 60 per cent of the state’s gross domestic  products (GDP).
According to Agamah, the state government is committed to any development partnership, particularly in the agriculture sector.
He urged the workshop to come out with workable solutions to ensure a more impacting COSOP for 2024-2029 going forward for better package for smallholder farmers in the region.
On his part, Mr Collins Ashoro, Delta Coordinator, State Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE-ND) for Niger Delta project, said that the COSOP (2016-2023) would end by December.
He said that the workshop was a process of introducing a new COSOP for the next fiver years (2024-2029) to support and enhance the livelihood of smallholder farmers in the country.
He noted that the input of all stakeholders had become necessary to review the former programme as it impacts smallholder farmers and to effect policies to enhance the next programme for proper execution.
According to him the LIFE-ND, an FGN/IFAD programme being implemented in nine States of the South South region has over the period has impacted the rural economy, enhance income, food security and jobs creation for rural youths and women.
He advocated a more smarter and technology driven agriculture to enable the youths key into the agriculture as business.
He said that it was expected that at the end of the consultations, the new programme would accommodate more youth and women in short term yielding agriculture projects.
The highpoint of the event was a break up session to discuss modalities for the implementation of COSOP (2024-2029) which was moderately by Prof. Ifeyinwa Achike and Nkiru Okonkwo, IFAD Consultants.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng).
=======
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola
error: Content is protected !!