FG, IFAD-VCDP to replicate Commodity Alliance Forum across Nigeria
Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is collaborating with IFAD- Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP) to replicate the Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF) initiative across the country.
Mrs Vera Onyilo, IFAD-VCDP’s Knowledge Management and Communication Advisor, made this known on Friday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said that the replication of CAF was in the light of the successful execution of the programme in Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba states.
She said CAF had successfully galvanised the productivity of smallholder farmers and their access to markets in the rice and cassava value chains, using the innovative Public Private Producer Partnership (4ps) model.
Onyilo said that the CAF stakeholders’ relationship had yielded significant results, citing the receipt of 150,000 tonnes of rice paddy from rural farmers in the participating six states as one of major feats.
“This represents an estimated income of 63.6 million dollars for the rural smallholder farmers.
“From a macroeconomic parameter, it represents 150,000 tonnes of rice import substitution and 63.6 million dollars foreign exchange savings to Nigeria.
“It is, therefore, a boost to the Federal Government’s agricultural promotion policy, which primarily targets import substitution,’’ she said.
Onyilo said that the successful implementation of the project in the six states informed the need to organise a workshop to chart a roadmap for the replication of the CAF project in all the 36 states of the country as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
She said that the workshop, which would hold between Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 in Abuja, with the theme — “Partnership for Enhancing Productivity and Marketing for Sustainable Agri-Business’’ — would be attended by players in the commodity value chains.
She said that the experts would share their knowledge and experiences at the workshop, as part of the designed efforts to boost private sector participation in agricultural commodity development programmes across the country.
NAN reports that the CAF project is a strategic partnership between farmers, key private sector organisations and the government aimed at facilitating business transactions, knowledge sharing and policy dialogue.
The initiative has created markets for the produce of smallholder farmers, while giving them access to agricultural extension services, agro inputs and financial services.