The World Bank is offering the Jonathan administration about N24 Billion loan under the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) scheme to boost agricultural, fishery, and poultry production in five states next year.
The states have not been named but PremiumTimes gathered that they would join five earlier states that started the scheme in 2009. The ten states will spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country, our sources said.
The first five states are Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Cross River and Enugu. Experts supervising the scheme said the vision is to help provide support to “three key agricultural value chains per state.”
Benefitting farmers in Cross River are focusing their attention on the development of oil palm, cocoa and rice; Enugu, on fruit trees, poultry and maize; Kaduna, on fruit trees, dairy and maize, and Kano, on rice, dairy and maize, while their counterparts in Lagos are focusing on poultry, aquaculture and rice development.
The project, which is expected to directly impact about 50,000 small and medium-scale commercial farmers as well as guarantee indirect benefits to several households through access to farm roads, energy and market through spillover effects, is expected to come to an end in December 31, 2014.
During the recent visit of the mission team to the four participating states for the mid-term review, the project’s task team leader, Lucas Akapa, told beneficiaries and top government officials, that with the inclusion of five more states, more agricultural value chains are expected to be added.
Mr. Akapa disclosed that it was also resolved during the meeting that the project be restructured to enhance speedy implementation as well as prompt disbursement to project beneficiaries, adding that governments in the affected states were advised to ensure the alignment of their agricultural policies with the Federal Government’s, especially the new Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
To ensure sustainability of the project’s various interventions, Mr. Akapa said adequate provisions have been made to ensure that the project survives after its closure in December, 2014.
The National Project Coordinator of CADP, Amin Babandi, said the mid-term review mission, usually conducted at the middle of a project lifespan to review performance and identify challenges impeding the smooth implementation of the project in the last two and a half years, was to help undertake a comprehensive review of the general performance of all the components of the project as well as study the lessons learnt with the view to correcting them.
Babandi, who lamented the low implementation performance, said: “At half way, we need to reflect and get those aspects that are correct and enhance them, look at those that are not working and correct them.”
He implored project staff to work out solutions that would expedite implementation and attainment of the project development objectives adding that significant progress need to be made to enable commercial farmers benefit from the project.