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Nigeria: FG, AfDB begin supervision on Sponsored agriculture projects

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The Nigerian Federal Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have commenced supervision on its co-sponsored Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme, Phase 1 (ATASP-1) in seven states of the federation.

The National Project Coordinator of the programme, Mr Haruna Akwashiki, announced this at the opening of the 3rd Supervision Mission in Abuja on Monday.

He said the supervision was an opportunity for both lenders and borrowers to jointly review their activities of the programme.

“ATASP-1 is basically an agriculture programme supported by the AfDB with 152 million dollars to contribute to food and nutrition security in Nigeria.

“The programme, which has a five-year life span, is out to create no fewer than 120,000 jobs along the cassava, sorghum and rice value chain.

“The review will be in terms of the achievements, challenges and status of implementation, with a view to improving subsequent implementations,’’ Akwashiki said.

He noted that the programme since inception in 2016, achieved 30 per cent success.

The national coordinator said that 175 million dollars had been budgeted for implementation of the programme.

“During this mission that will last for the next one week, we are going to discuss the activities of the programme and review them from inception.

“This will help us to bring out the achievements, challenges and together proffer appropriate solutions for improvement on the implementation of the programme henceforth.

“This programme is in its second year of implementation and the programme has taken off fully.

“The total package for the programme is 174.85 million USD out of which 152.12 million USD is coming from the AfDB as a loan while the remaining balance is to be contributed by the FG.

“We are working in Kebbi, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Anambra and Enugu States.

“ AfDB is pilot testing this model. We believe that if this pilot project succeeds, more states will come on board,’’ he said.

Assessing the success of the programme, he said that no fewer than 7, 466 youths have been empowered on its various value chain activities.

Dr Ibrahim Amadou, the Chief Agricultural Economist at the AfDB, Nigeria, said the support from the bank was in line with the government’s Agriculture Promotion Policy (2016-2020).

He assured that the bank would continue to support the Federal Government in its agricultural development efforts.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that ATASP-1, which would end by 2019, has three components of infrastructure development, commodity value chain development and programme management.

The mission would involve zonal coordinators of the programme in the seven implementing states.

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