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Over 50, 000 Nigerian Farmers To Benefit From World Bank Assisted CAPD

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ABUJA, Dec 23, (THEWILL) – Over 50,000 Small and Medium Scale commercial farmers are to benefit from a World Bank Assisted Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP).

To achieve the target, Task Team Leader of the Project, Dr. Lucas Akapa has enjoined the participating states to double efforts toward establishing strong and sustainable foundation for the implementation of the Project as well as enhance quick disbursement of funds to the farmers.

At the 3rd Joint World Bank/Federal Government Supervision mission which ended in Enugu on Tuesday, Task Team Leader, Dr. Lucas Akapa said the project was making steady progress towards achieving the project objective which is to strengthen agricultural production systems and facilitate access to market for targeted value chains among the small and medium scale commercial farmers in the five participating states.

He urged the project teams to speed up implementation so that the benefits of the project can quickly impact on the beneficiaries

While interacting with various Commodity interest groups in the states visited, Dr. Lucas Akapa said the mission was aimed at taking stock of the project implementation progress since effectiveness, identifying issues preventing smooth project implementation and agree on actions to be taken to expedite smooth implementation.

“Promoting commercial agriculture which is public – private sector driven is considered critical in raising agricultural productivity, stimulating economic growth and ensuring food security. As population density increases, there is need for increased agricultural production to meet future food needs as well as enhance income and alleviate poverty”, said Lucas Akapa.

He commended the governments of the implementing states for their interest and support towards the project and urging project staff and the Commodity Interest Groups to hasten implementation and deliver result to the beneficiaries.

In his addresses at the various interactive sessions with farmers and other stakeholders in the states visited, the National Project Coordinator of CADP, Dr. Aminu Babandi disclosed that, the mission was to assess the project performance with a view to ascertaining the progress made and address constraints affecting the overall success of commercial agriculture in the country.

He said it was only by taking stock of the implementation progress and self-appraisal of performance that the project development objectives would be achieved.

In their respective remarks, the State Project Coordinators enumerated some of the achievements made towards successful implementation of the project in the state. These include successful implementation of approved subprojects, trainings for project staff and the farmers, collaborative meetings with relevant stakeholders and the provision of working materials and equipments.

The Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) is being implemented in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Cross River and Enugu states and will support three value chains per state as follows: Cross River - oil palm, cocoa and rice; Enugu - fruit trees, poultry and maize; Kaduna - fruit trees, dairy and maize; Kano, rice, dairy and maize and Lagos - poultry, aquaculture and rice.

Meanwhile, about 3,000 Commodity Interest Groups (CIGs) across the five states were registered to benefit from the project.

The project is expected to impact on 50,000 small and medium commercial farmers while many households will benefit indirectly through access to farm access roads, energy and market through spillover effects.

The US$150 million project which commenced on July 30, 2009 is expected to close on December 31, 2014.