November 18, 2017

Nigerian FG, IFAD sign pact as Agric transformation gets N16.8bn boost

Nigerian FG, IFAD sign pact as Agric transformation gets N16.8bn boost

In what has been seen as another major boost to the agriculture transformation programme, the Federal Government on Thursday signed a $105.2 million partnership agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to drive a value chain development programme for rice and cassava in the country.

The agreement signed by the IFAD President, Kanayo Nwanze, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala and Minister of Agriculture, Adewumi Adesina, marked the official flagging off of the programme which comprises an IFAD loan of $74 million and $0.5 million grant.The project is to be implemented within six years, and in six states of the federation, including Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba.

Under the programme, the federal, states and local governments are to provide $31.2 million counterpart fund contributions.Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala confirmed that the IFAD credit was one of the most beneficial, with no interest, 0.75 percent commitment charge, 40 years repayment period and 10 years of grace.

Nigerian FG, IFAD sign pact as Agric transformation gets N16.8bn boost

Nigerian FG, IFAD sign pact as Agric transformation gets N16.8bn boost

She noted that the partnership underscores the commitment of IFAD to agriculture, rural development, and food security in Nigeria, and further demonstrates that the nation’s relationship with IFAD is yielding fruit.

According to her, IFAD has been an important partner to Nigeria since the relationship which began in 1985, during which the country became a B list member of the Fund.She said so far, IFAD has committed a total credit facility of about $157.3 million in Nigeria and has funded so many successful programmes in different parts of the country.

At the event, the minister of Agriculture, Adewumi Adesina noted that IFAD’s support was targeting 40,000 households in Nigeria in six states.IFAD logoHe said the project was made of three components, namely agricultural market development, part of which would look at supporting value chain, focus the farmers on improving their productivity, linkage to market, market information systems, strengthening their business management skills and access to finance.

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