International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, has pledged to partner with Benue State in the production and processing of cassava and rice.
Country Program Manager of the organisation, Ms Atsuko Toda, disclosed this yesterday in Makurdi, when she paid a courtesy call on the Governor Samuel Ortom.
Toda stated that the organisation would assist farmers alongside the entire value chain, even as it would intervene in land development in three local government areas and 20 kilometers of rural roads among other interventions.
According to her, youths and women would be target beneficiaries and would be assisted to get markets for their products.
She commended the state government for fulfilling its obligation by paying its counterpart fund, stressing that it underscored the importance it attaches to the programme.
Responding, Governor Ortom stated that a return to agriculture was an imperative for the people of the state in the face of Nigeria’s dwindling economic fortunes.
“We intend to translate our name into reality by utilising our arable land with its potentials and what it takes to feed Nigeria and Africa.
“With your activation of the entire value chain, your experience and technical assistance, farmers in the state can produce and process their primary products and organise themselves into micro, small and medium scale enterprises and boost the economy of the state,” Ortom stated.
The governor promised that the state government would encourage farmers to embark on dry season farming through massive land clearing.

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