ATASP-1 plans expanded phase 2 roll out to involve more farmers, crops
The National Coordinator, Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase-One (ATASP-1) Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Arabi has said that the second phase of the programme would be expanded to accommodate other states and farmers at the value chains of agricultural productivity
Dr. Arabi made this declaration while responding questions from journalists in his office in Abuja.
In 2014, The Federal Government of Nigeria secured a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme (ATASP-1).
Arabi said that the need for expansion of the programme was necessary having seen what the first phase of ATASP has been able to achieve with improved living standard of poor farmers, processors and marketers in the rural areas of the seven states of the project operations that include Anambra, Enugu, Niger, Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto.
The National Coordinator expressed optimism that the programme’s expansion to other states would reduce poverty more at the rural areas.
He added that rural urban migration would be as well reduced just as social infrastructure like rural feeder roads, functional health centres, drinkable waters powered by solar and provision of markets for easy transactions were part of the package for the people.
Responding to the question on the need for expansion to other states, Arabi said ‘’that is our plan for the second phase because of the achievement already recorded under the present ATASP-1 through the component of value chains development of rice, sorghum and cassava where we have improved the productivity and production.
in project areas of all the seven states with about baseline of 1.5 ton per hectare to about 6-7 ton in rice production.
“And the same in the other two crops of cassava and sorghum. This is the reason why the programme should be expanded to more states for rural economic development as more rural people are being made to become more richer, and thereby reducing poverty, and creating wealth to more people to achieve the core objective of the programme, and that is why other states should be taken into consideration’’
On the process of involvement of the other states, he stated that ‘’at the appropriate time, we are going to make request to the Federal Government through the Minister of Agriculture based on the achievement we have recorded during the first phase which beneficiaries have testified to.
“We have no doubt about the second phase of the programme when considering the magnanimity of President Muhammadu Buhari and his focus on Agriculture in order to make life much better for especially rural people.
“I am sure he is going to consider the programme for second phase. Also the African Development Bank as co-sponsor are also impressed about the performance of the programme and we have no doubt about their support for the second phase’’.
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