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Programme Performance: IFAD-VCDP Attributes Success To Mbah’s Support

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File Photo: Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), has commended Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State, for his unflinching support to Agricultural programmes in the state.

The State Project Coordinator (SPC) IFAD-VCDP, Dr Edward Ishiwu, gave the commendation at the Enugu State Value Chain Development Programme Steering Committee meeting held on Saturday in Enugu.

Ishiwu, while highlighting the achievements of IFAD-VCDA in the state, attributed the successes of the programmes to Mbah who approved funds for the project.

He thanked the Governor for his benevolence and prompt provision of counterpart funding for IFAD projects in the state and the prime position he gave to agriculture in his developmental trajectories of Enugu state.

The coordinator recalled how he was at ease to meet the Governor for counterpart funding within two months of his administration.

He said Mbah was more interested in performance and the provision of deliverables to the people of the state, than any other consideration, and so, wasted no time in releasing the funds which had helped IFAD to provide facilities.

Ishiwu listed the facilities to include rice mills, rice and cassava processing machines, tools, stalls, construction of market stores, tractors, and others across five local government areas in the state.

Others are 55 water pumps distributed to rice farmers, 115 knapsack sprayers, 20 weighing scales, 5 fufu pounders, 10 tricycles, 500 bags of fertilizers, power tillers, 25 starter packs for confectioneries and motorcycles.

They also include water pumping machines, tractors, among others, across five local governments in the state which are: Aninri, Enugu East, Isi-Uzo, Nkanu East and Udenu.

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He also commended the governor for flagging off the construction of roads that would open up access to farms across the state.

In an address, the chairman of the Steering Committee and the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro Industrialization, Patrick Ubru, thanked IFAD for its support of agricultural development in the state.

He noted that the vision of Mbah’s administration in the agricultural sector was to “feed Enugu people, making our state the food basket for Nigeria” while also becoming a leading exporter of cash crops through the implementation of agric extension services.

“We firmly believe that by investing heavily in these areas, we can transform Enugu State’s agricultural sector,” he added.

Ubru further revealed that to achieve its vision and goals in agriculture, the state government was committed to establishing Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) across the three senatorial zones of the state.

He called on IFAD to fully support the vision by extending its support services beyond the five local governments where it is currently operating.

On his part, the Commissioner for Labour and Employment, Chika Ugwuoke, sued for collaborative partnership of IFAD and other World Bank Projects with ministries, especially with the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

This, he noted, would enable job creation and statistical documentation of the outcomes.

Also Speaking, the Commissioner for Human Development and Poverty Eradication, Dr Malachy Agbo, also asked IFAD to expand its scope of operations in the state by 2024, pledging the support of the state government so long as the projects were geared towards poverty alleviation and eradication.

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Speaking on behalf of farmers’ organisations that constituted the alliance forum, Dr Godwin Abonyi thanked the state government for its efforts in revamping the agricultural sector.

He said the quality of attendance at the meeting from the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Ministries,  Departments and Agencies was commendable.

Abonyi, while thanking the state government for its milestone achievements in peace and security, urged the government to beef up security to stem the farmer-herder clashes which, he said, had capacity of hindering its efforts towards a robust agricultural programmes.

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