The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has, through its Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), encouraged farmers nationwide to acquire effective communication and knowledge sharing skills for productivity enhancement.

The Value Chain Development Programme is designed to empower farmer associations comprising smallholder rice and cassava farmers to increase the volume and quality of their produce.

Coordinator of the IFAD programme in Anambra State, Emmanuel Aguncha, during a workshop for leaders of farmer associations, processors and marketers held in Awka, the state capital, urged them to always share information and ideas on new farming skills and technologies. He said such would help them maximise their yields.

“Knowledge is power. If you are well informed, there is nothing you cannot achieve. An information or knowledge not shared is useless. If a farmer is doing well based on a technology or system adopted, it is imperative for such farmer to share his experience using our various communication channels for the benefit of others,” he said.

Aguncha also disclosed that the communication and knowledge management workshop was aimed at scaling up participants’ performances as well as implementing the activities of IFAD’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).

He observed that since the commencement of the programme, the state had recorded a boost in rice and cassava production through the transfer of technologies and certified seeds as against the use of grains.

In a separate lecture, a media consultant, Obinabo Nezianya, also stressed the need for participants to adopt effective communication methods for solving farming related challenges.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Omor, in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state, Peter Emeka; who was one of the participants; expressed gratitude for the workshop. He said it would further encourage farmers, processors and marketers to collaborate better in boosting rice and cassava production in the state.

IFAD’s Value Chain Development Programme focuses on increasing market access for smallholder farmers and small to medium-scale agro-processors among other goals.