From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
As a way of boosting food production in Benue State, the International Fund for Agricultural Development IFAD and Value Chain Development Program, VCDP has distributed 5,000 bags of free fertilizers and herbicides to over 2,500 cassava farmers.
Flagging off the presentations of the inputs at Ogbadibo, Okpokwu and Guma local government areas of the state, Benue IFAD-VCDP State Project Coordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Igbaukum said each of the benefitting farmers is to receive two liters of herbicides from the organization at no cost.
He said apart from the contribution of his organization to boost cassava cultivation in the state, each of the 2,500 benefiting farmers through their cluster groups will also receive same quantity of counterpart support from the state government.
Igbaukum said “with the arrangement, each farmer is expected to cultivate a hectare of farmland with four bags of fertilizer and four liters of herbicides to boost their annual yield, earnings and livelihood which is the main trust of the IFAD-VCDP.”
In his speech, the Benue state Commission for Agriculture, Mr. James Anbua cautioned the benefitting farmers against diverting the inputs warning that the state government would not hesitate to take punitive measures against defaulters.
Anbua said, “the state government is investing much in agricultural development, we are urging the people to make good use of the oppotunity to improve themselves.
“In line with the diversification policy of the government we are paying greater attention to agricultural development which is obviously the bedrock of our economic resuscitation policy and all farmers are advised to key into it.”