Mr Jonathan Obayemi, Coordinator, Fadama III Additional Financing in Lagos State, says 1,309 farmers have benefited from the N1.2 billion grants between 2015 and Dec. 31, 2019.
Obayemi made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday while reviewing the achievements of the project in the state within the period under review.
He said the grants was to provide support to farmers through capacity building, advisory services, inputs, mechanisation and farm/rural infrastructure in the years under review.
NAN reports that the Fadama Additional Financing (AF) is a grant to Lagos State from the World Bank loan to the Federal Government.
The AF is aimed at scaling up the impacts and the development effectiveness of Fadama III project.
The project is to align it more closely with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) adopted by the Federal Government in 2011 to support clusters of farmers to increase rice production and link them to better organised markets.
The direct beneficiaries of Fadama III AF are the rice producers group within the production clusters sites around Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Areas of the state.
Obayemi listed the projects undertaken across components between 2015 and Dec. 31, 2019 to include: building of capacities of 4,000 rice value chain farmers- producers, processors, agro dealers and off takers.
“The project contributed 4,497.20 metric tons of local rice to Lagos State’s food basket through direct intervention and about 10,000 MT through recouping.
“The project also provided four tractors and other implements to increase production capacity; it also created 4,211 direct jobs and another 2,530 indirect jobs.
“It directly empowered 1,385 individuals through project intervention and added 13.6 kilometres rural roads to road network in the state for easy access to farmlands across three locations,” he said.
Obayemi said that the project also provided two aggregation centres for storage of rice paddy and farm inputs at Ikoga (Badagry) and Idena (Epe LGA) and irrigation facilities of 20 hectares capacity for all-season rice production.
“The project provided seven agricultural commodity processing centres across the state; promoted community-driven development ethos, hence, more beneficiaries can now access more opportunities on their own.
“It provided technical assistance on the farm to improve competencies, resulting in increased output and diversification into other commodity value chains.
“This is with the involvement of private extension services through agriculture services and input consultants.
“More priorities were given to the vulnerable: more women and youths represented in Federated Fadama Community Association (FFCA).
“Others are clusters and groups; established 15 home gardens for women across the state to improve family nutritional intake.
“The project also provided linkages between producer farmers and 17 agro-dealers to ensure quality inputs as well as provided linkages between producer farmers and 10 major off-takers to ensure ready markets for farm produce.
“It also linked farmers with financial institutions for additional funds; through this alone, more than N50 million had been attracted to the project,” he said.
The coordinator said the project supplied 5,000 productive assets to individual farmers; supported 1,309 producers with 71,830kg of improved seeds; provide 8,164 bags of fertilizer and more than 14,000 litres of agrochemicals.
“It increased rice output by 4300 from an average of 1.4 Metric Tons at inception to 3.58 Metric Tons in 2018 due to the project’s various interventions.
“About 98 per cent of project direct beneficiaries in the state had their income increased by at least 40 per cent, while 13.4 per cent of value of asset acquired was confirmed to have been saved for replacement of assets,” he said.
Obayemi commended the Lagos State Government for prompt payment of counterpart fund, while looking forward for approval for sustainability of the project effort and intervention.