The International Fund for Agriculture Development -Value Chain Development Programme (IFAD-VCDP) has donated tricycles to some farmers, processors, and marketers in Kogi State in order to better their livelihoods.
Mr Timothy Ojoma, the Kogi State Commissioner for Agriculture, flagged off the distribution at the FGN/IFAD-VCDP Office in Lokoja, the state capital.
The commissioner commended IFAD-VCDP for the gesture, saying the tricycles would be suitable for transporting farm produce to markets.
Ojoma encouraged the beneficiaries not to sell the tricycles but to use and maintain them so that the intended purpose might be met.
Mr Ojoma applauded the organisation for partnering with the state government in empowering farmers, and gave assurance of government’s continued support for the programme.
He praised Kogi state Gov. Yahaya Bello for identifying with the programme and other agricultural intervention programmes to improve the wellbeing of the residents.
The Coordinator of IFAD-VCDP in Kogi, Dr Stella Adejoh, said that the beneficiaries cut across the five local government areas where VCDP was operating at the moment.
She listed the local government area as Lokoja, Ajaokuta, Ibaji, Olamaboro and Kabba/Bunu, adding that a total of 15 tricycles had been distributed.
She said that the tricycles were not totally free, noting that the beneficiaries paid 30 per cent of the total cost, while the IFAD-VCDP paid the remaining 70 per cent.
Adejoh said that the essence of paying the 30 per cent was to make the beneficiaries to show seriousness, commitment and ownership of the tricycles.
Adejoh said that the gesture was part of IFAD-VCDP interventions to help smallholder farmers, processors and marketers in Kogi to boost food production.
She advised the recipients to use the tricycles to enhance their livelihoods and the state’s economy, stressing that they would be adequately supervised.
The coordinator thanked the state governor for providing the necessary funding for the initiative.
Musa, a widow with five children, stated that the gesture will help her family’s livelihood and well-being.