The International Fund for Agriculture Development -Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP) has distributed tricycles to some farmers, processors and marketers in Kogi to improve their livelihoods
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the distribution was flagged off by the Kogi Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Timothy Ojoma, at FGN/IFAD-VCDP Office in Lokoja on Wednesday.
The commissioner praised IFAD-VCDP for the gesture, saying that the tricycles would be appropriate to convey farm produce to markets.
Ojoma advised the beneficiaries not to sell the tricycles but to use and maintain them.
He also urged them to use them to achieve the intended purpose.
“Handle the tricycles with care by taking ownership of them for your own benefit, that of your family members and that of the state at large,” he said.
The commissioner commended the organisation for partnering with the state government in empowering farmers and gave assurance of the government’s continued support for the programme.
Ojoma praised Kogi Gov. Yahaya Bello for identifying with the programme and other agricultural intervention programmes to improve the well-being of the residents.
Earlier, the Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP in Kogi, Dr Stella Adejoh, said that the beneficiaries cut across the five local government areas where VCDP was operating at the moment.
She listed the local government area as Lokoja, Ajaokuta, Ibaji, Olamaboro and Kabba/Bunu, adding that a total of 15 tricycles had been distributed.
She said that the tricycles were not totally free, noting that the beneficiaries paid 30 per cent of the total cost, while the IFAD-VCDP paid the remaining 70 per cent.
Adejoh said that the essence of the payment of the 30 per cent was to make the beneficiaries show seriousness, commitment and ownership of the tricycles.
“Today, we are distributing tricycles to smallholder farmers, processors and marketers to convey their farm produce and processed products to markets for sale,” she said.
Adejoh said that the gesture was part of IFAD-VCDP interventions to help smallholder farmers, processors and marketers in Kogi to boost food production.
She urged the beneficiaries to utilise the tricycles to improve their livelihoods and the economy of the state.
She said that they would be properly monitored.
The coordinator thanked the state governor for giving the programme the necessary support.
Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs Zainab Musa from Lokoja, Celestine Ejuwe from Ibaji and Mr Lari Sule from Ajaokuta, thanked the organisation and Kogi Government for the gesture.
Musa, a widow with five children, said that the gesture would improve the livelihood and wellbeing of her family.
“My husband is late; this gesture will enable me to feed my five children and train them in school,” she said. (NAN)