-The Kogi State Project Coordinator of the Fadama III Additional Financing, Mr Paul Ogunmola has said that a total of 5,465 hectares of cassava and rice farms have been cultivated across the state since the inception of the project.
Ogunmola, who disclosed this on Tuesday during the 9th World Bank/FGN Support Mission to the state to review the implementation of the Fadama III AF in Kogi State, said the cultivations were done by 5,750 benefitting farmers using mechanisation and improved seeds/cuttings.
According to him, the project which is jointly being supported by the World Bank, the federal and Kogi State governments has impacted positively on lives of many benefitting farmers and participating communities.
He said 85% of the direct beneficiaries had their income increased by at least 40%, adding that an average yield of 23.5 ton/ha has been recorded under the Fadama III AF intervention, translating to an increase of 82.3% which is above the baseline figure of 12.89 ton/ha.
He noted that the major challenge impacting on the implementation of the project include threat to Fadama farms by pastoralists and that of clearing of large expanse of land needed under the project.
Also speaking, the Representative of Task Team Leader of the Fadama III AF, Prof Yomi Omotosho, said the team was in the state to assess the progress or otherwise of the project’s implementation across all the components.
He commended the Kogi State government for its commitment to the project so far but however called on the state to pay its outstanding counterpart fund to enable the state continue to benefit from the project.
The Special Adviser to the Kogi State Governor on Agriculture, Mr David Apeh, told the visiting team that the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello was committed to agricultural revolution in the state.
He assured that the outstanding counterpart funds would soon be paid, adding that the process for the release of the fund has reached an advanced stage.