Anambra gets FG, World Bank approval for cassava production; to pay N56m counterpart fund
Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 1 November 2016 | 1,871 times
The Federal Government and the World Bank have approved additional value chain for cassava production in Anambra State. The project is expected to gulp hundreds of millions of naira to help boost the initiative of the state government in the area of agriculture especially as there has been record of success in the area of rice production.
The World Bank-assisted project under FADAMA 111 is to be executed in six states – Anambra, Enugu, Niger, Kogi, Kano and Lagos, while the Federal Government has just admitted 21 other states as production centers.
So far, six local government areas (LGAs) in the state known to have an edge in the production of cassava have been selected for the project. The LGAs include Orumba North, Orumba South, Awka North, Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West and Ogbaru.
According to the team leader of the 6th FG/World Bank joint mission currently assessing the level of implementation of FADAMA 111 projects in Anambra State, Dr. Ben Herbert, the state government was expected to pay N56 million counterpart funds for the new cassava project adding that about 2500 farmers were being targeted for the project.
He noted that Anambra was favoured for the project because of the great successes it had recorded in the area of rice production as well as the fact that the state had great potentials for cassava production.
In his words, “We consider performance across all components; including support for infrastructure, capacity building and business plans that will enable the farmers get money to maintain the value chain and acquire farming inputs.
“There are four value chains in Nigeria, which are tomato, sorghum, cassava and rice. Anambra was doing rice, and cassava has just been added because the state has great potentials for cassava. This approval is an opportunity for cassava farmers in the state to benefit from the intervention”
Herbert assured that any challenges faced under the programme will be addressed in order to ensure that the farmers get more money to power the project.
He added: “We discovered that the state has constructed roads leading to highly potential cassava farming communities and that is one of the reasons we chose the state for cassava cultivation, knowing that the existing infrastructure in those communities will assist the farmers very well.”
Herbert further applauded the state government for being up to date with payment of counterpart funds, adding no state in the South East has benefitted as much as Anambra and urged the state to continue in that manner.
On his part, the Anambra State Project Coordinator of FADAMA 111, Mr. Patrick Egbue, said that with the approval, the state would start mobilising for the take- off of the project immediately in Orumba North and Orumba South saying that they are poised to make Anambra the best agriculture state in the country in accordance with the mandate given to them by Governor Willie Obiano.
The team later took out time to visit project sites in Ayamelum, Awka North and Ogbaru for on-the-spot evaluation.