• Lagos Empowers 315 Women, Youth In Agric Value Chains
The Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) said it has disbursed 73 per cent of the World Bank assisted funds to commercial farmers in the benefitting states, to help the country become one of the world’s food exporters again.
Speaking during the 13th CADP (4TH RCADP) Joint Mission wrap up meeting, held in Lagos, last week, the Project Operations Officer, Dr. Salisu Garba, who represented the National Project Coordinator, Amin Babandi, said from the implementation made so far, the project is really progressing in the five states, urging the states to speed up their activities before the expiration of the project next year.
“The actual cost of the project is $150m with $30m being contribution from states and beneficiaries, the whole project is $180m and already 73 per cent has been implemented. When the project reached half way, there was restructuring of the project, and new activities were brought in, making us to disburse more and encourage people, especially in the area of alliance. We have the commodity interest groups, which are the cooperative societies, along the value chain we are implementing, about three segments of them.
“Again, introduction was made of the women and youth programme, we have done phase one, which is in the state of implementation to get unemployed youths. Some of the interventions have already been exposed to the world. For example, from Lagos some of the beneficiaries already exporting dry fish into the United States of America’s market, we also have the Ofada rice from Lagos that has gone international and good enough, any supermarket you enter in Lagos, you’ll see these products and others from other states and we are really empowering more. Lagos is currently doing the second batch by training women and youth that will be empowered soon. It is grant we are giving them, not loan,” he said.
The State Project Coordinator-Lagos, Mr. Kehinde Ogunyinka, who corroborates Garba’s claim, said the project has successfully lifted farmers from zero level, noting that about four of the beneficiaries are already exporting their produce. “With that in place, we are encouraging farmers, especially processors to do what others are doing. We deal with commercial farmers, who have been in the business of agriculture, who knows their onions, not just starters.”