ASABA – The Delta State government has earmarked N22 million for disbursement to rural farmers under the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS), Mr Misan Ukubeyinje, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said.
Ukubeyinje told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Sunday that the fund disbursement had already commenced.
He said “I recently disbursed cheque to three benefiting groups from Ugbenu in Ethiop West Local Government Area, Ayokoromo and Abigborodo in Warri North and each of these groups received N3 million to support their farms.’’
The commissioner added that the disbursement, which had been on since 2002, was being sustained through a counterpart fund between the state and the federal government.
He noted that the state government recently paid its counterpart fund for the year, thereby creating an opportunity for participating farmers group to draw down on demand for the amount needed to boost food production in the state.
The programme was being managed by the state’s Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) in Ibusa, to ensure effective disbursement and efficient utilisation of the funds by participating groups.
According to Ukubeyinje, there are nine participating groups in the programme representing three communities from each of the three senatorial districts of the state.
“Graciously, the Delta Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, paid the state counterpart fund this year to enable farmers who met the obligations to have access to the loan.
“These funding is to uplift the poorest of the poor farmers across the three senatorial districts and it has impacted positively on the lives of the people in those communities.
“This programme is being run by the ADP and expected to be paid back into a specialised account to be revolved among the farmers which target is to reduce poverty in the land.’’
The commissioner urged other participants in the programme to take advantage of the fund to improve agricultural production.
When contacted, Mr Richard Asenime, the Programme Manager, ADP, told NAN that N21, 850,000 had been earmarked under NPFS for disbursement to benefitting farmers in the programme.
“Ayokoromo and Abigborodo groups both in Warri North received N2,280,000 and N2, 500,000 respectively to support potatoe cultivation, artisanal fisheries, broilers and layers production, fish and cassava processing.’’ (NAN)