In view of the Federal Government’s commitment towards ensuring Nigeria’s positioning as a global agricultural player via the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, the sum of $100 million has been set aside to facilitate increased production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava produce.

This was recently disclosed by the Chief Technical Adviser of the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS), Dr. Oyesola Oyebanji in Awka, Anambra State during the sensitization of key stakeholders in Cassava and Rice Value Chains Development Programme.

According to Dr. Oyebanji, while explaining the concept and implementation of the programme, which he noted would adopt a holistic approach for the development of rice and cassava with emphasis on production, processing and marketing, also disclosed that six states had been selected across the six geo-political zones of the country to have access to the allocated funds.

While delivering the keynote address, Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Nnamdi Mekoh, emphasized the commitment of government in making agriculture attractive to women, youths and investors through the deployment of modern technology, mechanization and innovation, while urging all stakeholders to play their role in the Value Chain Development Programme.

The primary target groups of the programme as outlined by the State VCDP Coordinator, Mr. Nnamdi Agwuncha, were smallholder farmers cultivating cassava and rice in up to five hectares of land as well as traders and small-scale processors with focus on women and youths.

The programme as assessed by some of the participants which included Mr. Charles Nweke, Dr. Nnamdi Omuaru and Mr. Jude Okadigbo, was described as one that would ensure food security and wealth creation for the country.