The World Bank has pledged to support Nigeria’s agricultural sector with 50 million dollars towards the restoration of agricultural livelihood of Fadama beneficiaries in the North East.
Dr Adetunji Oredipe, Task Team Leader of the Fadama III project, disclosed on Thursday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the programme would last up till December 2019.
He said the programme had begun in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe states.
Oredipe disclosed that Borno, Yobe and Taraba had released their N20 million counterpart fund, while the three other states had given approval for payment.
He said that the bank had launched a special programme of Fadama for the North East towards actualising the programme.
Oredipe said that actualising the programme had become imperative because the bank was determined to help to restore livelihood in the region.
“We want to reach out to 24,000 households and we have the package for them as you know most of them have lost everything.
He said that the programme would be done in stages and there is budget for every community where the bank is intervening.
“The third leg is that we are giving food assistance to farmers that we are going to work with because if you don’t provide food assistance the tendency that when you bring seedlings or fertilisers they will sell it.
Oredipe noted that it is inimical to health and food production when farmers cooked seeds instead of normal grains.
He said in this regard, Fadama would support every family with a small quantity worth 200 dollars, just to help them within the period while they were waiting for their harvest.
The coordinator revealed that damaged irrigation facilities, abandoned roads that might have lost shape would be upgraded by supporting them with water lifting devices.
Oredipe said that there was adequate budget for every household while the bank facilitators were on the field working with NGOs who are familiar with the terrain to map out farms and other facilities.
“We are not engaging in trial and error, we are working with experts who are familiar with environment so we can move quickly as the sense of urgency is there.
“Every community will prepare a community action plan for the team to work with, since we have a budget,’’ he said.
Oredipe disclosed further that 25,000 dollars had been set aside for each community as intervention fund.
“In that community they will have to sit together and put facilities that are relevant but are not functioning we have roads to fix, we have irrigation facilities.
“So, based on the consensus, they have all agreed on and identify 40 households with farmlands.
“It is a straightforward package that we have learnt from the earlier phase of the project to be able to make quick intervention that can yield very good result,’’ he said.