The Fadama III Additional Financing (AF) project ongoing in Kogi State has enabled 5,750 farmers cultivate 5,750 hectares of cassava and rice farms using improved seeds, cuttings and modern machinery.

About half of direct beneficiaries have also increased their income by at least 40 per cent with an average yield of 22.5 tonnes per hectare since the inception of the agriculture intervention programme.

These facts were presented by Project Coordinator, Fadama III AF programme in Kogi State, Paul Ogunmola when a delegation from the 8th World Bank/FGN Support Mission visited to monitor rice and cassava value chains across the state.

Speaking in Lokoja, Ogunmola identified clashes between farmers and herdsmen as one of the challenges hindering the project. He revealed that two farmers participating in the scheme had been lost to such clashes in recent times.

The Task Team Leader of the Fadama III AF, Adetunji Oredipe commended Kogi State government for its support to the Fadama projects being implemented across the state.

He said the World Bank and the Federal Government are working hard to ensure all Fadama III AF projects in the state are completed before the end of 2019 and that beneficiaries sustain investments after the programme ends.

“As you may be aware, this programme was designed to end in December 2017 but because of our additional intervention in the northeast, it has been extended for another period of two years. What we will be doing is to begin to look at how we will ensure that all the projects we have initiated are fully completed,” he said.

Also present to receive the delegation were Commissioner for Agriculture, Kogi State, Kehinde Oloruntoba and his Finance counterpart, Idris Asiru.

Commissioner Oloruntoba observed that the Fadama projects have empowered many rural farmers since inception and commended both the Federal Government and World Bank for the initiative.

Commissioner Asiru, on his part, assured the team that Kogi state government remains committed towards ensuring the success of the programme.