As part of measures to ensure a vibrant agriculture sector across the state, the Niger State Government has partnered with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to provide formers adequate support through necessary funds and inputs capable of stimulating the economy from the grassroots.
It explained that the need to increase the productivity of men and women farmers to eradicate poverty in the state necessitated the partnership in line with the government’s commitment to empowering residents across the state.
The state’s Governor, Abubakar Bello, said that the activities of the agency spurred the state government into action, stressing that IFAD has contributed positively and would the communication link among both parties is strengthened.
The Governor spoke when he played host to the Market and Enterprise Development Advisor of Federal Government of Nigeria/IFAD Value Chain Development Programme Nigeria, Fatima Buhari, and her team in Government House, Minna the state capital, according to a statement released to newsmen on Tuesday by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Noel-Berje.
“Government and development partners should partner to see that they support men and women of the grass root so that they will increase their productivity and this is the way to eradicate poverty.
“We acknowledged that the program is an interesting one and since the state is blessed with economic potentials that will better a lot of not only the state but the nation in general.
“We will open up discussions with the Minister for Water Resources, to see how the dams in the state can be distilled to boost rice farming activities in the state,” the statement read.
The Governor who assured the team of his administration’s support for the program to achieve it desired objective directed the secretary to the state government to liaise with IFAD state coordinator to ensure all outstanding counterpart funding for the program is cleared with the view to accessing more funds from IFAD for more impactful activities.
In her remarks, Buhari said they were in the state to visit some Local Government Areas including Wushishi, Bida, Katcha, Kontagora, and Shiroro where they have ongoing programs.
Earlier the state’s Programme Coordinator Dr. Matthew Ahmed explained that the program support had been for rice and cassava as basic commodities in the state, but hope to include shea butter, cowpea and yam soon, adding that though the program currently operates in five local government areas of the state, they also provide intervention programs such as capacity training to other five local government areas.