Posted by News Express | 3 September 2015 | 5,192 times
Agriculturists, Farmers and Agro-allied investors on Wednesday urged the federal government to review the Third National Fadama Development Project for better impact on the agriculture sector.
A cross section of stakeholders made the call at separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
They said the project could be managed properly to activate widespread interests in farming and associated agro-allied businesses.
According to them, the present project is not having expected impact as farmers and agriculture stakeholders are no longer the central focus.
The development objective of the ‘Third National Fadama Development’ (Fadama III) Project for Nigeria is to increase the incomes of Fadama users.
Chief Executive of Tamole Farms Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bolanle Akogun said the entire policy framework of the project needed to be reviewed to capture more clusters.
Akogun said the project should be used to boost mechanized farming instead of the present heavy concentration on ‘negligible grants’ to rural farmers.
“The World Bank assisted project is elites on paper and pedestrian in practice thereby leaving room for misappropriation of funds.
“President Muhammadu Buhari would be doing the agricultural sector the needed service if the project is further reviewed to reposition it well enough to drive the non-oil sector.”
Malam Musa Keffi, an Agriculturist said the project, no doubt, had the basic impact in rural farming, adding that it could be made to achieve food security for the country.
“We are very good in developing policies, but I think we should show more seriousness in the implantation of the ideals of the project.
“We have many people in my locality that are captured and had benefited from the project in one way or the other but there is not feasible large scale impact.”
On his part, Chief Anabi Oko, food exporter, said “the fundamentals of the project appear to be fading away as the handlers across the country have developed ways for funds leakages.”
The National Coordinator of the Fadama III project, Tayo Akinwunmi, expressed delight on the implementation of all identified elements of the project.
Akinwunmi expressed satisfaction at the approval of the project’s work and procurement plans by both the World Bank and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government in 2013 approved $200 million (N39 billion) loan for the additional financing of the ongoing Fadama III project.
According to him, the World Bank supported project stands to increase income for users of rural lands and water resources within the Fadama areas.
He said it would also improve the value chain of agricultural commodities in line with the need to boost the non-oil sector.
Akinwunmi said, so far, 65 workers have been recruited to facilitate business plans for the project at the community level.
The facilitators, he noted, were recruited from existing Fadama III facilitators.
He said that the workers would facilitate the business plan preparation at the community level for the Fadama III additional financing core states.
According to him, a total of 165 business plans have been submitted by the six core states for the first review.
NAN further reports that over 4,000 productive rural infrastructures were constructed in the Fadama communities across the country, while the 52,713 Fadama user groups registered had acquired a total of 58,758 productive assets. (NAN)
•Photo shows Rice FADAMA
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