Over 60,000 Nigerian farmers will be given the total sum of $200 million by the World Bank through its productivity enhancement and livelihood improvement support (APPEALS) initiative.
Anne Ihugba, the head of Corporate Communications of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), made this known on sunday.
This will be executed across 6 states with 21,000 women as direct beneficiaries of the World Bank project.
The project would be deployed in Cross River, Enugu, Lagos, Kogi, Kaduna, and Kano states, targeting 60,000 beneficiaries and 360,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.
Ihugba added “It is anticipated that 35 percent of direct beneficiaries or 21,000 individuals will be women. Additionally, the project has a dedicated sub-component to benefit women and youths that will allow them to develop agri-businesses that are expected to create jobs and improve their livelihoods”.
Memorandum of Agreement and Action (MoA) on APPEALS has been signed by NIRSAL.
Ihugba stated that the project was meant for development, financing, and support of de-risked and optimized agribusiness projects.
She noted that: “In line with the project development objective of APPEALS, NIRSAL would provide its Tools, Techniques, Methodologies and strategic Partnerships (TTMPs) according to its Mapping to Markets (M2M) strategy on the project.”
This is the aim of enhancing agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers.
NIRSAL, through the project, would ensure “improvement of value addition along the cassava, cashew, rice, poultry, aquaculture, cocoa, wheat, tomato, maize, ginger and dairy value chains in a sustainable manner.”
She further said the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, had at the signing of the MoA, assured that APPEALS had found a trustworthy, reliable and capable partner that shared the project’s objectives of improved value addition among others.
Through geo-spatial mapping, soil suitability tests, Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrollment for farmers among others, the NIRSAL CEO assured that the agency would deploy its technologies toward the formation of Agro-Geo-Cooperatives for selected commodity value chains.