By Edwin Nwanojuo
The Federal Government through the United Nations’ International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has impacted a total number of 3,912,180 households through its various Agricultural programmes and Projects in the country.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar disclosed this while inaugurating a multi- stakeholder Country Programme Management Team (CPMT) for IFAD projects in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director, Special Duties Department, Dr. Zubairu Abdullahi noted that IFAD has been Nigeria’s trusted partner for reducing rural poverty at all levels of government since 1985, saying that “The collaboration between the Federal Government and the United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural projects (IFAD) currently include three projects namely, the Value Chain Development Programme VCDP I &II implemented in Taraba, Benue, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Enugu and Ogun states; the Climate Change Adaptation and the Agribusiness Support Programme in the Savannah Belt (CASP) implemented in seven states of Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states while the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Project in Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) is being implemented in Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Ondo , Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Imo states. A total number of 3,912,180 households have been impacted “.
He said the robust portfolio has necessitated the setting up of CPMT which has its membership drawn from relevant Federal Ministries such as the Project Coordinating Unit as Chairman, representatives from the Federal Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Education , Youth Development, Women Affairs and Social Development; National Coordinators of IFAD projects; other stakeholders such as Non-Governmental Organizations and Research institutions while IFAD Country office, African Development Bank and World Bank would serve on the team as observers.
Dr. Umar said the team would among other things provide a pool of technical resources and support to the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) for IFAD programme implementation activities such as review of project performance, documents in ensuring that projects objectives align to Federal Government Policies and programmes of developing Agriculture in Nigeria.
Earlier in her remarks, the Director PCU in the Ministry, Dr Maimuna Abdullahi said since the inception, the PCU unit has engaged in monitoring and evaluation to know the level of implementation of the IFAD projects which had so far been commendable; she added that “All IFAD projects are focusing on reducing rural poverty in Nigeria”.