From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The World Bank has extended its Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) mission in Nigeria for another six months ending November 2016.
The bank’s Task Team Leader (TTL) in Nigeria, Dr. El-Hadj Adama Toure, during the mission’s 12th implementation support mission wrap-up and stakeholders’ meeting held in Calabar, said the extension was necessary for the full implementation of commercial agriculture systems across five Nigerian states participating in CADP namely, Cross River, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Ondo.
Toure said the objective of the stakeholders’ meeting, especially with the TTL, was part of its routine mission to converge after every six months in CADP host states. He further said the meeting is to cross-fertilise ideas to tackle some of the challenges in implementing commercial agriculture systems in Nigeria.
Speaking also, the State Project Coordinator (SPC) to Cross River, Mr. Duckham Amah, stressed the need for a continuous commercial agriculture systems as the leeway to salvaging Nigeria’s economy in the face of the country’s dwindling oil revenue.
Amah said the mission, using Cross River as reference point, has been able to support farmers in all its three value chains, which include cocoa, palm oil and rice farming.
He said, “the mission within its years of existence in Cross River has also been able to support farmers by constructing 55.77 kilometres of farm roads in 18 communities of 11 local government areas of the state, which has helped provide access and shortened travel times that in the past was responsible for damage of farm produce.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture in Enugu, Mr. Mike Eneh, said Enugu State has been able to key into the CADP to the extent it now exports pineapples but was, however, currently temporarily overwhelmed by local consumption needs, which the state is making reactive efforts to curb.
Eneh said the state government has given full support for the project just as it has made provision for counterpart funding and mobilising the resources needed to commercialise agriculture in the state.
The delegation included top officials of World Bank and Federal Government agriculture arm of Nigeria.