From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
100 of 1,715 small and medium scale farmers who benefitted from the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS)’s training and grant in Kaduna State are people with disability and special needs, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, APPEALS, Abdulwasiu Olayinka Fawole has said.
APPEALS is a six-year project developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020 the Federal Government of Nigeria.
APPEALS knew as the Green Alternative, built on the legacy of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) with plans to support policy thrusts on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification.
Speaking with newsmen at the sideline of a pre-seventh implementation support mission at a hotel in Kaduna, Fawole added that the meeting aimed at review programme implementation in six participating states of Enugu, Cross River, Kaduna, Lagos, Kano and Kogi.
“We are here to prepare ourselves ahead of the main mission coming up between the 6th and 21st of December which was why we have the representative of the national project coordinator who is in charge of Kaduna here with us.
“Since the beginning of the project, we have been able to support the farmers who are in cooperative groups. About 2000 of them have been supported in terms of machinery, improved technology to improve their productivity.
“On average, we have been able to improve their productivity by 38% in the state. The women and youth empowerment which is key to the Kaduna state government, we have been able to select 1,715 beneficiaries including 100 people with disabilities and special needs and we have concluded their training and started giving them grants”, Fawole claimed.
Speaking on the current insecurity and how it affects agricultural productivity Fawole said, “we are mindful of the issue of insecurity and the project is doing its best to mitigate this so farmers can influence their value chain.
” Don’t forget that the project is drawn from the government’s agricultural promotion policy. For us in Kaduna State, we are supporting three value-chain – diary, ginger and maize.
“We are supporting maize to support food security in Kaduna and the country at large. We are supporting ginger to promote the export promotion policy of the government and diary to improve the livelihood of small and medium-scale farmers in the state”, he added.