The World Bank Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) in Kogi State has facilitated the distribution of farm inputs to rice farmers in the state.
Rice farmers numbering 687 across three senatorial districts are set to benefit from the ongoing exercise during this wet season.
Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja while overseeing the distribution, said that the initiative has supported farmers, women, and youths in Kogi.
According to him, the project aligns with the state governments’ agricultural development plan.
Onoja who doubles as the chairman of the state’s steering committee for APPEALS lauded the project for the role it plays in transforming the agricultural sector of the state.
He restated the commitment of the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello towards the successful implementation of the APPEALS project in the state,
“The governor had earlier released the sum of 200million naira as part of the states’ counterpart funding to support the activities of the APPEALS project,” he said.
He further urged farmers to ensure that the inputs given to them are used for the purpose intended.
Project Coordinator for APPEALS in Kogi, Dr. Sanni Ozomata explained that the project was disbursing the inputs to rice farmers via a community procurement system, which was in fulfillment of the project’s development objective.
He added that the project was enhancing the agricultural productivity of genuine small and medium scale farmers and Improving their livelihood, as well as guaranteeing food security.
“This period is farming season and this is the right time to reach out to farmers in the state, coupled with the outbreak of COVID-19, there is no better time than now to support farmers in the state to be on the farms working to lessen the impact of the pandemic on food security in the country
“A total of 1720.5 hectares of farmland have been mapped and facilitated, the support given to farmers to plough and harrow was in preparation for this year’s wet season farming
“The project has also commenced facilitation and the procurement of 25000 litres of chemicals, 50,000kg of rice seedlings, 687 chemical sprayers, and some other inputs,” Ozomata stated.
The PC also stressed that the support was a grant to farmers, while also cautioning them against selling the input.
The intervention would also be an ongoing demonstration and other farmers will benefit in no time, he said.