Governor Samuel Ortom’s agricultural policy which targets the entire value chain has excited the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Country Program Manager of the organization, Ms Atsuko Toda, expressed the excitement when she paid a courtesy call on the Benue State Governor at the Peoples House in Makurdi yesterday.
She pledged IFAD’s collaboration to partner with the state particularly in cassava and rice production and processing.
Ms Toda stated that the organization would assist farmers along the entire value chain even as it would intervene in land development in three local government areas and 20 kilometers of rural roads among other interventions.
According to her youths and women would be target beneficiaries who would be assisted to get markets for their products.
She commended the Benue State government for fulfilling its obligation by paying its counterpart fund stressing that it underscored the importance it attaches to the program.
In his response Governor Ortom stated that a return to agriculture was an imperative for the people of the state in the face of Nigeria’s dwindling economic fortunes.
“We intend to translate our name into reality by utilizing our arable land with its potentials and what it takes to feed Nigeria and Africa,” he stated.
“With your activation of the entire value chain, your experience and technical assistance farmers in the state can produce and process their primary products and organize themselves into micro, small and medium scale enterprises and boost the economy of the state.”
Governor Ortom promised that the state government would encourage farmers to embark of dry season farming through massive land clearing beginning with the 2015 dry season.