By Amos Mathew, Kaduna
In an effort to boost agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers, the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) has disclosed plans to build the capacity of 10, 000 maize, ginger and dairy farmers in Kaduna state.
It was disclosed that the programme is a world bank assisted project of the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve vale addiction along priority value chains in the selected state which includes Enugu, Cross Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi and Lagos.
The State Steering Committee Project Coordinator, Dr. Yahaya Aminu made it known in Kaduna at a one-day awareness creation workshop on the implementation of the APPEALS project for Seven Local Government Areas within Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Dr Aminu went further to say that, “The participants are drawn for commodity interest groups or members of cooperative societies and Small and Medium Enterprises from the Senatorial District which includes Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Birnin-Gwari, Chikun, Kajuru, Igabi and Giwa.
“The session will give participants the opportunity to understand the APPEALS project and understand the opportunities available in the value chain development programme and also understand further the eligibility criteria of benefiting from the project.
“The session will also enlighten participants on the difference between the support the APPEALS project is to give to cooperative societies and the support that is designed for Women and Youth Empowerment Project saying there is some confusion among beneficiaries. The Women and Youth Empowerment Project is meant to support young men and women as well as people with disability who have certain level of educational qualification to be supported to engage into small scale agric business for eleven different value chains whereas, the support for the SME’s and the CID’s is focused on three value chains including dairy, maize and ginger.”
He informed that the project will support farmers productivity and link them up to markets, facilitate consolidation of agricultural products and cottage processing, provide technical assistance and institutional support and increase productivity of the targeted value chains.
He said the project is expected to support farmers from production to processing and finally market increase productivity of agricultural produce of priority value chains by project-supported farmers.
He noted that the project will last up till 2023 and it is targeting 10, 000 direct beneficiaries in Kaduna state who must be members of cooperatives.
The Managing Director of Zaidi Farms and a member of the APPEALS State Steering Committee, Idi Mukhtar said the project will allow for exchange of ideas which will ensure capacity building and increased production in the selected value chains.