By Zubairu Idris
Abuja (NAN) The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has set aside $93.5 million to support 727,000 farmers in seven states in Nigeria.
The assistance is on the platform of IFAD’s Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP).
Alhaji Lawal Idah, the National Programme Coordinator of CASP, said in Katsina on Thursday the states are Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno and Zamfara.
Idah said that the project would be implemented in 727 villages across 104 local government areas in the seven states.
According to him, 1,000 farmers, mostly women and youths, are targeted in each village.
“CASP is built on the lessons learnt from the previous Community Based Agricultural Rural Development Programme (CBARDP) which used Community Development Associations (CDA) as the primary entry for implementation.
“It promotes agricultural productivity enhancement and agriculture, as principal drivers, while integrating climate change resilience adaptation measures,’’ he said.
Idah said that the programme was aimed at reducing poverty, boosting food security and achieving accelerated economic growth.
“After successful completion of the project, child malnutrition will be reduced by 25 per cent in the targeted villages.
“242,000 rural dwellers will be out of poverty by increasing their per capita income and the programme will also facilitate efforts to reduce erosion in farmlands,’’ he said.
Besides, the programme coordinator said that drought-resistant and early maturing seeds would be given to farmers in order to boost agricultural productivity.
He also said that the project would encourage irrigation farming and make agriculture an all-year-round business.
Idah noted that funds for financing the project would be sourced through grants, loans and payment of counterpart funds by the Federal Government as well as the participating state governments.