Niger govt lauds establishment of paddy/grains aggregation centre
Niger State government has said that the establishment of Paddy/Grains Aggregation Centre Owners and Management Consultative Forum in the State by CDI Project is a welcome development as well as a new dawn to agricultural growth not only in the state in particular but the ciuntry in general.
The State Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malam Haruna Dukku stated this in his opening remarks during the commencement of a one-day Workshop for the launching of the state’s Paddy/Grains Aggregation Centre Owners and Management Consultative Forum put together by the FGN/Niger State (IFAD Assisted) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) and CDI Project for NPACS.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Ibrahim Garba Adamu, described the initiative as timely and welcome development as a result of the Agrarian nature and Paddy Grains growth potentials of the state.
He stated further that one of the cardinal objectives of the current administration in the state is to improve Agricultural value chains to farmers, adding that as a result of its versatile nature , that government cannot do it alone.
He also advocated for a forum; which will help in building and strengthening relationships between farmers, government and all stakeholders in agricultural business including the selection of stakeholders which he pointed out very significant for the success of the programme.
According to him without aggregation centres, there cannot be achievement in the establishment of industrial parks, arguing that the aggregation centres have a lot of advantages especially to farmers in the state, while commending the initiators for choosing Niger state to pioneer this kind of forum.
He pointed out that Niger State deserves to be the pilot of this project in the country in view of the fact that the state have the highest producers and best of Paddy/Grains farmers in Nigeria.
Earlier, in his remarks at the occasion, the Managing Director of CDI Project and a resource person at the forum, Mr. Roland Oroh stated that the idea behind the forum is to consult with the stakeholders in the state in Paddy / Grains Aggregation business in order to harness a project aimed at strengthening the operational and management capacity of the aggregation centres in the state.
He rxplained that the project’s objective “is to provide better support and services to farmers and also strengthened the Nigerian Paddy Rice Farmer’s Value Chain to stand the challenges of time and world competition.
Nigerian Tribune Agric gathered that the expectations of the stakeholders at the end of the workshop for the NSPAC forum participants is to come up with a plans that will be viable intervention to all the three categories of aggregation centres owners and management (State/Community based, Private and the federal Government based) in order to strengthen their capacity that will change their productivity as well as enhanced the living standards of the farmers for good”.
Also, In his remarks, the Coordinator, IFAD/ VCDP in Niger State, Mr. Mathew Ahmed enumerated some of the benefits the project will provide to job creation for youths and revenue generation for the state government, asides unity and the enhancement of aggregation centres, stakeholders and farmers relationships.
“We want to see and create jobs to our teeming youths whereby in the paddy aggregation centres, you will have from 4 – t10 youths working, to take care of their families with their monthly salaries.
“We are going to train the communities that are going to benefit from this structure on how to manage it and that anybody that brings paddy to store, aggregate pay in money.
“ Another thing we wanted to do is to link the farmers to this aggregators, and they will give them inputs, the herbicides, seeds, and the fertilizer will be given to them so that after the harvests, they can pay back. We are linking them so that they can have access to finance to purchase Agro inputs among other things”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Shea Agro, Alhaji Muhammad Ahmed Kontagora, was one of the participants who observed and believed that, this will provide a solution to some of our challenges that we are facing, such as when you have an effective aggregation centre one thing you are assure of is tractability, because you are assured of a source of your commodity
“And in addition to that, there will be standardization with which you are rest assured of the kind of quality you are looking for”, he concluded.