Posted on April 26, 2018
The African Development Bank (AfDB) funded Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase-1 (ATASP-1) interventions in the commodity value chains of rice, sorghum and cassava have generated N36.22 billion income for those involved in the benefitting communities.
Aside creating 299,615 jobs, the programme has also trained 32,366 farmers, agro-processors, fabricators and other entrepreneurs including women and youths across the four staple crop processing zones in seven states; Adani-Omor (Enugu-Anambra), Bida-Baddegi (Niger) Kano-Jigawa and Kebbi-Sokoto.
These were highlights of the Mid Term Review report presented to stakeholders in Abuja, yesterday.
National Coordinator of ATASP-1, Haruna Akwashiki disclosed that the next phase of the programme would focus on development of rural infrastructure, youth training and empowerment, agro-processing training on entrepreneurship as well as provision of simple post-harvest equipment. He added that attention will also shift to group development and provision of basic inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, agrochemicals and so on.
Akwashiki expressed gratitude to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for establishing a Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) for donor funded programmes, and expressed the hope that the review will consolidate ATASP-1’s achievements and strengthen AfDB’s commitment.
Daily Sun gathered that the programme is focusing more on youths and women, empowering them in the various areas of agricultural enterprises and entrepreneurship in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020, and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
According to the report, “Through its intervention, the programme is helping to reduce youth restiveness in the south east and insecurity in the north.
“The programme is also assisting in the reduction of farmers-herdsmen clashes by generating alternative animal feeds from bi-products of crops such as sorghum and rice stalks, cassava peels, among others for cattle and other animals.”
The specific objective of the project is to, from 2015-2019, identify and promote science-based solutions for rice, sorghum and cassava value chains through technology production and distribution of quality seeds and planting materials.