The International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are partnering to convene a national workshop on the Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF).
The CAF which was pioneered by the IFAD Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in six states of Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba galvanized smallholder farmers productivity and access to markets in the rice and cassava value chains.
IFAD, in a press statement in Abuja yesterday, said the the CAF workshop themed “Partnership for Enhancing Productivity and Marketing for Sustainable Agri-Business,” is scheduled to hold in Abuja from October 30 – 31st, 2018.
According to the IFAD Value Chain Development Programme Knowledge Management and Communication Advisor, Mrs Vera Onyilo, CAF is a strategic partnership between farmers, key private sector players and government to facilitate business transactions, knowledge sharing, as well as policy dialogue, an initiative that has culminated into ready market for the farmers.
The programme also facilitates access to extension services, agro inputs and financial services.
Mrs Onyilo stressed that the “CAF stakeholders’ relationship has yielded significant results, a major one being the receipt of 150,000mt of rice paddy from rural farmers in the six states.”
“This represents an estimated income of USD63.6 million to the hands of the rural smallholder farmers. From a macroeconomic parameter, it represents 150,000mt import substitution and USD63.6 million foreign exchange savings to Nigeria, hence a great support to the Nigerian government’s agricultural promotion policy – which primarily targets import substitution.
“It is in the light of this success, that the VCDP seeks to replicate the CAF model across the country,” she said.
The event is expected to converge players in the commodity value chains to share their knowledge and experiences, in a bid to guarantee increased private sector participation in agricultural commodity development in Nigeria.