Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) project have declared to assist over 10,000 farmers across Kogi state, North central Nigeria through the $200 million grant of the World Bank. Kogi state project coordinator of APPEALS, Dr. Abdullahi Ozomata made this known in Lokoja during a press conference to intimate the media and the general public of the new agricultural intervention project in the state,
Dr. Ozomata said Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Cross River, Lagos and Kogi states were selected by the World Bank after a competitive process for the implementation of the APPEALS project. He added that the project which is expected to last for the duration of seven years in Kogi state would focus on three agricultural values chain which the state has a comparative advantage, which are Cashew, cassava, and rice.
He stated that the objective of the project was to enhance the production and productivity of farmers by ensuring that they are improved and that they move from where they used to be at their subsistence farming level to a commercial based farming to boost food production.
He said, “We are looking at giving grants to farmers. We are also looking forward to working with the real farmers and not political farmers who have no business with farming. The project is also going to look at rural infrastructure for farm clusters so that it can enhance their farming activities and livelihood. We will give women and youth sub-components the opportunity to partake in other farming activities that are within the priority value chain of the project. The project is to move small subsistence farmers that are into five hectares for instance into 10 hectares or more.”