From Abel Leonard, Lafia
The Federal Government in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has began distribution of chickens and home garden seeds to women farmers in Nasarawa State.
Programme Coordinator, VCDP Nasarawa, Dr Eunice Adgidzi on Thursday during the distribution said the chickens and home garden seed materials was part of effort to achieve Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W).
Daily Sun reports that the distribution of the items is under the Value Chain Development Programme Additional Financing 1 (VCDP AF1).
According to Adgidzi, 90 women farmers will get five chickens each – four hens and a cock to rear, while 100 others will benefit from home garden seeds rich in vitamins A, C and iron – based.
The home garden seed included banana, plantain, oranges, moringa and pumpkin.
She explained that the beneficiaries were drawn from Lafia, Doma, Wamba, Karu and Nasarawa Local Government Areas, where the VCDP was being implemented in the state. she said.
Adgidzi added that the distribution of the item was to address major challenges of nutrition so that farmers could strongly focus on nutrition at each stage of beneficiary’s life.
She noted that the major objective of VCDP was to enhance and sustain the income and food security of poor rural households engaged in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in the Five targeted LGAs in the state.
The programme coordinator said that the additional finance phase of the VCDP focuses on improvement of livelihood of women and youth, while appreciating the support of the state government to the VCDP through payment of counterpart fund for the implementation of the programme in the state.
Inaugurating the distribution in Lafia, wife of the Nasarawa State governor, Hajiya Silifat Sule, commended the organisers for the programme.
She said that the programme reflected the objectives of bringing development to the state through improving the livelihood of small holder farmers, especially women and youths.
The governor’s wife represented by Hajiya Hauwa Aliyu-Ogah, Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State Ministry Women Affairs and Social Development,added that the performance of some of the VCDP benefitting farmers in the state prompted her to start a full fledged campaign for more women, especially in rural areas to enroll and reap the benefits of the programme.
Sule further stated that the distribution of the item was a step in the right direction as it would not only achieve the core outcome indicator of MDD-W but would also reawaken the beneficiary households to change their behaviours to improve dietary diversity.
The governor’s wife however, encouraged all beneficiaries to see the provision of the items as stimulants to constitute a healthy diet and improve their household nutrition to attain healthy living.