Benin – Mr Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, Coordinator International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said on Sunday that the programme had empowered 221,751 farmers in Edo in the last 10 years.
Aikhuomobhogbe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin that most of the beneficiaries of the scheme were rural farmers, who were empowered to engage in small and medium agricultural enterprises.
He disclosed that the beneficiaries comprised 89,912 males and 115,547 females, adding that 13,452 of them were youths made up of 7,534 males and 5,918 females.
He said that the 10-year programme which began in 2005, re-prioritized its activities in 2012, with greater focus on agriculture.
The coordinator said that between 2012 and now, IFAD established seven cassava mills in Emuhun, Ikiran-Ile, Okuor and Evbohuan and other communities of the state.
He said that the programme also established a rice mill and yam storage facilities in Illushi community and sank bore holes in some other communities.
“The programme also assisted farmers to engage in fish and other livestock production, cultivation of different crops as well as capacity building and processing,’’ he added.
Aikhuomobhogbe explained that the programme had officially ended in the state, but that its loan scheme would end on March 31, 2016.
“What we are doing now is programme completion report and survey to determine its impact on the beneficiaries.
“The survey and report will serve as a basis for future intervention programmes in the state,” adding that the report would also reflect the failure and success rate of the programme. (NAN)