Kogi state is on the cusp of experiencing boom in its agricultural sector, as it has been announced that the World Bank assisted Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood improvement Support (APPEALS) Project has made provision for a $200 million grant to assist about 10,000 farmers and agriculturists across 50,000 households residing within the state.
During a stakeholders sensitisation meeting held in the state capital, Lokoja, Dr Sanni Abdullahi Ozomata who is the Project Coordinator of APPEALS in the state, revealed during his speech that Cross River, Kogi, Kano, Lagos, and Kaduna were the states chosen by the topmost financial international governing body after a competitive process for putting in place the APPEALS project which was effective from the year 2017.
According to him, the implementation of the APPEALS project in Kogi State is focusing on the three agricultural value chain which the state has comparative advantage.
Ozomata maintained that the goal of the was centered around the enhancing the productivity of farmers by making sure that farmers are advanced to subsistence farming level and introduced to small and medium scale farming.
“We are looking at giving grants to farmers and aside, we are looking forward to working with the real farmers and not political farmers. The project is also going to look at rural infrastructure for farm clusters so that it can enhance their farming activities and livelihood,’’ he said.
The project which is to last for period of seven years, is particularly aimed at supporting women and youth boost the production and productivity of three priority value chains (crops) namely, rice, cashew and cassava.
However, the project is expected to last about seven years and is categorically targeted at rendering support to youths and women who will be empowered to improve the productivity and production of three priority value chains (crop) such as; rice, cassava and cashew.