The Taraba Government says it is partnering the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to boost rice and cassava production, processing and marketing in the state.
Mr Isaac Mella, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, disclosed this at a meeting with representatives of the joint Federal Government and IFAD on Friday in Jalingo.
Mella said the state government through the ministry of agriculture had paid counterpart fund of N37 million to enable its farmers access the FG/IFAD assisted value chain development programme to improve their living conditions.
“I wish to commend the Federal Government and IFAD for this wonderful initiative of giving expertise and material assistance to farmers.
“Let me equally commend the state government for promptly paying the N37 million counterpart fund to boost rice and cassava production, processing and marketing in the state,’’ he said.
Mr Rab Nawaz, the Team Leader of the joint implementation support mission, said the visit was to help the state government move forward in its quest to boost its economy through agriculture.
Nawaz noted that the programme, which was basically aimed at improving the income of rice and cassava farmer organisations, was performance based.
He explained that the programme was a five-year project which was currently going on in six states of the federation, saying funds will be given to states that are more successful in the implementation.
Nawaz said the programme, currently going on in Gassol, Wukari and Karim-Lamido local government areas of the state, would be expanded to other local governments depending on how well the handlers used the funds so far released.
He lauded the state government for paying the counterpart funds for the benefit of its rice and cassava farmers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team later proceeded on an inspection visit to demonstration rice and cassava farms done by Taraba Agricultural Development Programme (TADP) in Gassol.
It also met with groups of farmer organisations in the field and assured them of continued assistance to enable them improve their standard of living and boost the state’s economy.