By Mustapha Yauri
The Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project has commenced the distribution of farm inputs to 10,000 farmers in Kaduna State.
Dr Yahaya-Aminu Abdulhadi, the Project Coordinator, made this known during the delivery of the farm inputs to farmers’ cooperatives at Biye, Giwa Local Government on Thursday.
Abdulhadi said that the intervention in Biye Community was for 985 farmers, while the target beneficiaries in the state were 10,000.
He said that the intervention farm inputs were fertilisers, improved seeds and herbicides, among others, adding that the second intervention would be mainly equipment.
He said that beneficiaries would receive thrashers, combine harvesters and tractors, adding that the support was demand-driven.
Abdulhadi said that the two phases of interventions were decided by the farmers themselves with the aim of boosting their farming enterprise.
He said the interventions were to ensure that the farmers were empowered to enable them make judicious use of the support.
He said that the project was a World Bank supported initiative with the mandate of Kaduna State Government to support the farmers from production, processing and marketing.
“We want them to make use of the knowledge and the resources that was avail them under the APPEALS project, so that they can shift from being subsisting farmers to commercial and economically viable farming enterprises.”
The coordinator said the support was an end-to-end intervention, the farmers who are receiving the intervention now had already signed agreement with up-takers before they could go to the farm.
He added that the farmers already had market for the products.
The Kaduna State Deputy Gov., Hajia Hadiza Balarabe, said that the state had done a lot in improving agriculture productivity.
The deputy governor said that the state had also improved agriculture sector toward diversifying the economic base of the state.
Balarabe was represented by Mal. Sabiu Ismaila, the Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture.
She said that the state government was working tirelessly to support the development of agriculture as a business so that farmers would be able to feed themselves and supply the products for the use of industries.
“It is the wish of the state to see tremendous reduction in poverty, massive employment generation for the youths and women and general improvement in the wellbeing of the populace through the agricultural sector,” she said.
The deputy governor said that she was impressed with the turnout of women and youths for the programme.
“It also shows that Kaduna State’s policies and programmes on inclusion were working. A society cannot develop if half of its population was idle and are not included.
“The efforts of the state toward bringing women to be part of economic development by enhancing their skills in various fields of endeavor is a worthy cause.
“ I can see here that the people of this community have accepted it; we are also happy that the men were understanding and cooperating. I pray that this level of commitment will result into improve productivity,’’ she said.
The deputy government said that partners to the project were experts from National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS).
Alhaji Adamu Shika, one of the beneficiaries, who spoke on behalf of others commended government’s efforts on the project and for the timely provision of the inputs.
Shika said that the beneficiaries were earlier trained on new and better farming methods and processing of the farm produce to boost production.
He pledged the commitment of beneficiaries to judiciously use all the farm inputs.