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April 23, 2024
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International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) team visits Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State

IFAD pledges to support Nigeria to address food crisis

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By Alex Enebeli

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has pledged to support Nigeria to address its current food crisis.

Dr Donald Brown, the Associate Vice President, Programme Management Department of IFAD, made the pledge when he and his team paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State on Wednesday.

Brown disclosed that IFAD had about $1 billion agro investment in Nigeria in many sectors around agriculture, processing and production, adding that the organisation would help Nigeria to address food crisis.

According to him, the organisation will provide technical assistance to the government and people of Nigeria to improve food production and security

“The food crisis in Nigeria that the president recently declared, we are looking also to see how we can support the government and people to improve the situation.

“My visit to the state was purposely to inspect some of the projects done with the government of Nigeria using Enugu in the southeast.

“I am pleased to be here with my team to see if what they have on ground reflect what they had been telling us, discuss some of the issues and possibly proffer solutions,” he said.

Responding, Mbah thanked IFAD for the support it had been giving to the state.

Mbah, represented by his Deputy, Mr Ifeanyi Ossai, said the state valued the support and intervention received from the multilateral institutions and agencies in their sectors, particularly in agriculture.

“This is so important because if we want to migrate our people from poverty to economic stability, agriculture is very pivotal.

“As we are battling with high cost of food and shortage of food, this is the best time to improve agriculture.

“We thank you also because your programme tailored its approach towards farmers and smallholder farmers,” he said.

The governor, who extoled the roles of the smallholder farmers in the economy, said there was need for high level policies formulations to deal with it to accommodate the whole farmers.

“It is the aggregation of the smallholder farmers that come up to your Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and farmers now enjoy the benefit of their hardwork with access to facilities supported by IFAD.

“We look forward to more robust relationship with you to improve what you have done and sustain it. We suffer  from huge post harvest losses, hence, there is need for aggregation centres near our farm,” he appealed.

According to him, we need whatever support we can get to encourage commercial farmers with inputs, credit facilities and teach them skills.

“For a country with over 200 million people, the processing centres are not enough, but we need some high level processing centres,” he stressed. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Ayodeji Alaba/Maureen Atuonwu

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