By Peter Okolie
Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) has conferred Award of Excellence on Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra.
Mr Henry Anagboso, the Knowledge Management and Communications Officer of the state VCDP, disclosed this in a statement issued in Awka on Sunday.
Anagboso stated that the award was in recognition of the governor’s prompt payment of counterpart fund since the inception of VCDP in 2015.
He stated that the award was presented to the governor and other recepients on Saturday during the Second National Commodity Alliance Forum in Abuja.
He stated that the governors of Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Taraba, Ogun, Enugu, Kogi and Nasarawa were also honoured for their outstanding contributions in boosting farming in their states.
Anagboso stated that the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Sabo Nanono, while presenting the award, described the Commodity Agricultural Forum as “a good idealogy that should be adopted by state governments.”
“The value chain development programme has achieved a great milestone in improving the living standard and income of rural households.
“This is in line with the Federal Government’s programme for farmers in the country,” he quoted the minister to have said.
The statement further quotes the National Programme Coordinator of VCDP, Mr Garba Bala, to have expressed satisfaction with the successes so far recorded by the programme in the participating states.
Bala was however said to have expressed worry over the low off-taking of cassava produce and the frustration to farmers.
“He, therefore, solicited the partnership of key stakeholders, particularly major off-takers and investors, towards solving the challenge bordering on the cassava value chain,” Anagboso stated.
He also stated that Obiano, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba, underscored the need to set up mini cassava processing centers at strategic locations to further boost its production.
Anagboso stated that the governor also emphasized the importance of cluster farming as a means of building a strong chain for the production and processing of cassava.
He noted that the event was organised to enable participating states to exchange ideas towards adopting good agronomic practices in the cassava value chain.
According to the statement, the theme of the event was “Enhancing Productivity and Market Opportunities for Cassava Value Chain Development”.