Commercial agriculture takes off in five Nigerian states

The World Bank assisted Commercial Agriculture Project has taken off in the five participating states of Nigeria. The states are Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Cross River and Kano.

During the First joint supervision mission of the Project, the Task Team Leader, Lucas Kolawole Akapa of the World Bank expressed satisfaction with the readiness and support of the participating states for the success of the $150mn project through the payment of their counterpart funds. He expressed satisfaction with the state governments for the prompt payment of the counterpart funds.
The project will support three value chains per state as follows: Cross river, Oil palm, Cocoa and rice; Enugu is fruit trees, poultry and maize; Kaduna, fruit trees, Dairy and maize; Kano, rice, Dairy and maize and Lagos, poultry, aquaculture and rice.
The mission held interactive sessions as well as conducted field trips with Commodity Interest Groups (CIGs) and Commercial Agriculture Development Associations (CADAs) to assess their readiness and concerns.

“On our part we are committed to raising agriculture to a higher level in Enugu state and make agro-entrepreneurs to have pride in agriculture. More so, it is an avenue to provide gainful employment for the youth in rural areas,” Sullivan Chime, Governor of Enugu State told the mission team during a courtesy visit.
The Commercial agriculture project is designed to improve access of small and medium scale farmers to modern farm technology, infrastructure and markets. The project is expected to create jobs as well as make agriculture a profitable business.
The objective is to strengthen agricultural production systems and facilitate access to market for the value chains in the participating states. It aims to raise farmers from subsistence farming to commercial level.
Commenting after the mission, Task Team Leader, Lucas Kolawole Akapa said, “I am happy with the interest and support shown by commercial famers as well as Governments of the participating states. With this level of support and ownership, the project is bound to achieve results and the project objectives”
The mission team was made up of staff of the World Bank, Commercial Agriculture Coordinating Office, and State Coordinating office, Ministry of Finance, Agriculture and Water Resources, National Bureau of statistics, National Fadama Development Office, Civil Society Organizations and consultants from Universities. Others are Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Rural Access and Mobility project (RAMP).
The project, which became effective in July 2009, will end in 2014.

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