The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been adjudged the “Development Partner of the Year 2018” at the Nigeria Agriculture Awards held recently in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA), an annual event is aimed at recognizing and rewarding men, women, businesses and institutions who have distinguished themselves in Nigeria’s agriculture landscape.
Chairman of the NAA Central Committee, Prof. Emmanuel Ikani, said at the award ceremony that such special recognition of individuals and corporate organisations that have distinguished themselves as critical actors in the agricultural sector would serve as motivation to other stakeholders to follow suit.
IFAD was recognised for its outstanding contributions to the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector, particularly for its efforts towards improving the livelihood of Nigeria’s smallholder farmers and the economic space in which they operate.
Particular reference was made to the IFAD-assisted Value Chain Development Programme which is empowering many women and youth through the innovative Public Private Producer Partnership (4Ps) initiative.
The 4Ps, which is a business transaction and policy dialogue platform has triggered partnerships with major off takers and smallholder farmers and has yielded significant results.
For instance, Olam Nigeria, Popular Food (Stallion rice) and Onyx Niger Plc through the IFAD/VCDP partnership has received 150,000mt of paddy from rice farmers and in turn processed and released 97,500mt of milled to the national domestic market.
This represents an estimated income of USD63.6 million to the hands of the rural smallholder farmers and injection in the Nigeria economy.
From the macroeconomic parameter, it represents 150,000mt import substitution and USD63.6 million foreign exchange savings to Nigeria, hence a great support to the government agricultural promotion policy.
IFAD Nigeria Country Programme Officer, Dr. Ben Odoemena, who received the award on behalf of IFAD, thanked the NAA Central Committee for adjudging IFAD as ‘Development Partner of the Year 2018’.
He said, “Emerging as the successful nominee in the category of Development Partner of the Year is very inspiring and rewarding.
“Anybody who works hard towards a goal and gets recognised for his hard work feels good. Let me also thank the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for all the support.
“This award could not have come without the support of these great partners. The most important to be appreciated are the rural poor farmers who took our technical advice to improve their livelihoods. It is the glaring improvement in their livelihoods that stood IFAD out to be chosen for this award.
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“You have given us the tonic we need to do more. IFAD is a friend of the poor and we will not leave Nigeria until food security is guaranteed for all, poverty is eradicated among rural people and rural youth and women are gainfully engaged and become the drivers of Nigeria’s economic growth.”
Since 1985, IFAD has financed 10 projects in Nigeria for a total of $795.3 million, including $317.6 million from IFAD’s own resources, directly benefitting nearly 3.8 million Nigerian rural households.
IFAD is presently financing 2 programmes, namely Value Chain Development Project and Climate Chang e Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme.