The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as part of its plans to enhance rice production, through the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has handed over a new processing mill to the Abakaliki Rice Mill Association at Iboko, Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State.
Speaking on the mill transference, State Programme Coordinator of IFAD, Mr. Sunday Ituma revealed it was part of the programme’s marketing component to ensure a structure for the mill to be more proactive and sustainable.
According to him, the facility has a warehouse, processing, parboiling sections among others which will aid the complete chain in the processing and marketing of rice. He also stated that the VDCP has made provision of two mini processing machines that will be suitable for small scale processors.
“The maintenance costs of the machines are low and they enhance production output. This made VCDP to involve the private sector in ensuring effective maintenance of the machines in other to increase output,” he emphasized.
He lauded the Ebonyi State Government for assisting in the programme of the state and ensuring the effective take-off of the new processing mill.
On his part, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Moses Nome commended IFAD and VCDP for their intervention in the state’s programme, especially in the production of rice and cassava.
“IFAD-VCDP has educated our farmers on modern and high yielding techniques in rice planting and also in the areas of processing, packaging among others,” he said.
He disclosed that the intervention of IFAD-VCDP has increased the rice and cassava production capabilities of the farmers and made them entrepreneurs who see it as a business.
Speaking also, the Chairman of the association, Mr. Emmanuel Ogodo who expressed profound gratitude to IFAD-VCDP for providing the facility, also urged the rice millers to ensure that they cooperate with the maintenance of the mill.