Monday, 10 September 2012

World Bank to invest N160bn in agriculture

THE World Bank is to invest N160 billion ($1 billion) into Nigeria’s agricultural sector, as part of efforts to boost food production and alleviate poverty in the country.

The World Bank Task Team Leader, Abimbola Adubi, who disclosed this in Abuja, at the weekend, said $150 million of the total fund would be used as an additional financing of Fadama III project in the country.

He also disclosed that the apex bank would stake additional $150 million into commercial agriculture, hinting that the fund would be made available by March 2013.

According to him, the bank is investing in the construction of feudal roads in five states of the federation, namely; Niger, Kaduna, Enugu, Osun, to further assist in the mobility of agricultural product.

Adubi, who spoke at the dissemination of the mid-term impact of the Fadama III project in the country, expressed satisfaction at the progress of the project following indications of poverty reduction, improved food production, women empowerment among small-scale farmers.

He stated that the global financial institution would further concentrate on increased crop production in the phase II of the FadamaIII project.

The National Project Coordinator of the third Fadama development project, Tayo Adewumi, explained that the project is a $450 million intervention credit by the World Bank targeted at alleviating poverty and increasing food production.

He said the project is being implemented in 35 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, disclosing that the project would soon take off in the remaining one state, which is Borno.

Adewumi disclosed that currently, a total of 4929 Fadama community associations and 60,015 Fadama user groups have been formed and are currently implementing 3,552 local development plans valued at $76 million.

He further hinted that in addition to other achievements, the overall disbursement since the project took off in 2009 till date was put at 70.11 per cent.

Maintaining that the project was in line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government, he said over 708,000 Fadama farmers have been registered under the Growth Enhancement Support programme of the government.
Original Article here

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