The Niger State Government has approved the sum of 87.1 million as its counterpart funding with the FG/ IFAD Value Chain Development programme to boost Rice production among farmers for the 2023 farming season in the state.
The state Coordinator of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, Dr. Mathew Ahmed made the disclosure in an interview shortly after a courtesy visit to the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources in Minna.
He explained that the decision was taken by the government to enable more farmers in rural areas to benefit from the programme to boost production and enhance their standard of living.
Earlier, the IFAD team lead, Dr. Samuel Eremie during the courtesy visit lamented the low record of payment of counterpart funding by the Niger State government, despite the massive benefits accrued to farmers from the programme in the state.
He stated,” There is a need to fast-track counterpart funding for IFAD activities. Counterpart funding has been very poor, it is a challenge and we pray for a turnaround and it is amazing to us, how Niger State has been able to achieve so much with so little”.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Musa Salihu Bawa Bosso reiterated the commitment of the government to partner with development partners to pay its counterpart funding.
He noted that the present administration in the state, since assumption, has been approaching the issue of the agricultural sector holistically to create jobs, eradicate poverty and ensure food security-.
According to him, “Niger State government is committed to bringing smart agricultural ideas and it is ready to continue its support by providing an enabling environment for it to thrive and pay its counterpart funding with IFAD”