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IFAD-VCDP Visits Rural Rice Farmers In Enugu, Insists On Good Agricultural Practice

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The Agric Production Advisor FGN/IFAD-VCDP, Abuja, Dr. Chyka Unamma addressing rice farmers in Umuode, Nkanu East LGA, Enugu State

ENUGU– The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Federal Government Assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has charged rural rice farmers in Enugu State to ensure proper utilitization of farm inputs provided to them.

IFAD-VCDP equally advises them to use the items according to the laid down line of action and follow various modern method of rice plantation practices to ensure bumper harvest.

The Agricultural Production Advisor (APA) FGN/IFAD-VCDP, Abuja, Dr Chyka Victor Unamma, gave the charge during a Project Implementation Support Visit to Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) beneficiaries in Enugu.

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Enugu is among the nine states in Nigeria where IFAD-VCDP operates, supporting farmers engaged in the production, processing, and marketing of rice and cassava only, with beneficiaries drawn from Aninri, Nkanu East, and Isiuzo.

Dr. Unamma accompanied by the Rural Institution Gender And Youth Mainstreaming Officer (RIGYMO) Oge Vivian Ezejiofor, visited farmers in Amede-Eha-mufu, Umuode, Nenwe, Oduma, and Okpanku in Isiuzo, Nkanu East and Aninri Local Government Areas.

IFAD-VCDP had about some weeks ago distributed some production inputs to rice farmers, including seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals free of charge to 439 selected vulnerable rice farmers across three Local Government Areas of the state to boost their yield this farming season.

Dr. Unamma explained that the visit was to verify whether the farmers got the inputs as well as made sure they utilized them in line with best practices.

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“The essence of this visit is to ensure that these inputs are efficiently and effectively used.

“We wanted to make sure that nobody charged them any money because federal government commited money to this.

“We wanted to be sure it was given to them free, and they actually got it, those validated were those gotten and the real thing done,” he said.

Dr. Chyka Unamma addressing rice farmers in Amede-Eha-mufu Isiuzo LGA, Enugu State

Dr. Unamma further told the farmers that a consultant from IFAD-VCDP would visit them in the upcoming weeks to inspect the progress in their farms.

“So with this now, in the next three/four weeks another set of people will come to be sure that these crops are growing in the farms,” the IFAD-VCDP Advisor hinted.

Dr. Unamma told the farmers at different locations visited that they must adopt nursery and transplant method as well as ensured they followed other basic methods.

“If you must succeed in rice production, do not practice the broadcasting method because it is wasteful, low yield, time consuming, and lack of data.

“We have trained you on pre- season, in-season and post harvest modern rice production; nursery and transplanting in rows is the best because it determines the plant population and optimisation of soil fertility.

“The faro 44 certified rice seed can give you bumper yield if you follow this method very well and we expect that you do so,” he said.

The IFAD-VCDP Production Advisor assured the farmers of the organization’s efforts to facilitate ease sale of their produce.

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“We have lined up times activities from now until when the off-takers will buy all that you produced and pay you into your various bank accounts,” he said.

On menace of birds, Dr. Unamma advised the beneficiaries to spread white coloured nets on their rice fields to check influx of birds.

The Agriculture Production Officer (APO) IFAD-VCDP, Enugu, Mr. Emmanuel Agbo, said that the experts had already conducted some trainings to equip farmers on basic steps for modern rice production.

He said though only vulnerable farmers benefited under the RPSF, IFAD-VCDP grant, more inputs would be given to farmers under the marching grant Programme.

“IFAD-VCDP had before now been distributing agricultural inputs under the marching grant whereby beneficiaries pay 50 per cent of the cost.

Some of the beneficiariecs including, Mrs. Ngozi Nchuma Gladys; Elizabeth Ekwe, and Felicia Enema; expressed gratitude to IFAD-VCDP for the gesture and assured them that they would do their best to ensure the project succeeded.

The President General of Ikem community who is also a Liasion Officer for Isiuzo LGA, Mr. Daniel Edeh, commended IFAD & Federal Government for the programme, emphasizing that it would go a long way to uplift many out of poverty.

SOURCE: FRCN

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