INTERNATIONAL Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, Olam group and rice farming groups have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, MoU to boost rice production in the country.
Vice President of Olam, Reji George, made this known weekend, at Tse-Terzar in Guma Lcal Government Area of Benue State, at the flag off of the distribution of inputs to rice farmers by Olam under the auspices of the IFAD-Value Chain Development Programme.
George said as off takers, Olam would provide rice farmers under the IFAD-VCDP in Benue state with inputs and needed assistance after which the company would buy off the yield from the rice farms.
“It’s going to be a huge investment on our part and we are looking at a projection of about N1billion. We indeed laud the Federal government for providing this platform which should go a long way to boost rice production in the country,” George said.
Speaking at the event, the State Project Coordinate of IFAD-VCDP, Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum commended Olam for partnering the programme and stated that Benue was the first under the programme to embark on dry season rice farming which was already being harvested.
Igbaukum who stated that the programme had provided many idle youths opportunities to embrace agriculture as means of livelihood said the programme was working hard to meet the target of its off takers.
According to him: “On the part of IFAD we are determined in our quest to boost food production in the country and by so doing we will continue to encourage and support the farmers in our clusters to meet the demands of our off takers.”
In his speech, the Benue state Commissioner for Agriculture Mr. James Ambua who was represent by his Director, Mr. James Kerr lauded Olam for the investment and intervention, stressing “this programmes is all about encouraging farmers to boost food production and to ensure that everyone on the value chain did not record or suffer losses.”


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