From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
The World Bank has doled out over N400 million as grant to 57 agric cooperatives under the Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project in Enugu State.
APPEALS project coordinator in Enugu, Mr Christian Odigbo, who revealed this during an implementation workshop for the beneficiaries said that the grant was to enhance farmers’ adoption of technology.
He hinted that the farmers will not receive the grant in cash but that different farm inputs which they had requested through an approved business plan would be paid for through certified suppliers.
“This is in respect of the component one of our project which is support to technology adoption. Support to farmers who are in cooperatives. The project supports what they are doing with inputs up to the amount that was approved to them. This is not loan, it is grant so they are not expected to pay back.
“The payment goes to the service providers who will supply them all the items they requested for in their business plan. Some of the cooperatives would receive N10m while some will receive N13m based on their needs and capacity.
The communication officer of APPEALS in Enugu, Mr Ambrose Igboke, further explained that the World Bank project was facilitated by Enugu State Government through the payment of counterpart funds to support farmers in different value chains.
“The project is courtesy of the World Bank, Enugu State Government and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. Enugu State is the only state in the South East that has APPEALS project. Enugu State paid N244m as counterpart fund which is a prerequisite for the project to be operational in the state.”