Mr Godspower Amadi, Director, Agriculture and Fisheries, Niger Delta Development Commission, says the commission has released $12 million to International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to support agriculture in Niger Delta.
Amadi disclosed this at the 15th IFAD/NDDC/FGN Supervision Mission organised by IFAD in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
He said : “IFAD designed a Community-Based Natural Resource Management Programme (CBNRMP) to empower at least 400,000 households in the rural communities through agriculture.”
He said : “The Commission, as partners in the project, was expected to release $15 million to support the progamme.”
“NDDC is to release $15 million for the programme, so far we have released more than $12 million, so we are almost through with our payments.”
“By my assessment, IFAD has achieved 75 per cent of its target and most rural dwellers are now integrated into agricultural entrepreneurship.’’
Dr Irene Ibeakuzie, National Programme Coordinator of IFAD, urged state governments and other stake holders to pay their counterpart funds to make the programme a success.
She said that the programme recorded huge success in the various states as agricultural investments ranging from crop farming to animal husbandry were done using best improved varieties and global practice.
Ibeakuzie called on the youths to be part of the initiative to ensure food security and employment generation through agriculture.
On her part, Mrs Atsupo Toda, National Programme Manager of IFAD, urged more women and youths to engage in agriculture to achieve food security in the country.
She said the Federal Government should ensure programme sustainability through funding of agricultural programmes.