How APPEALS project is empowering rural farmers with modern farm techniques

THE Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) is a Nigerian government initiative which is implemented with the support of World Bank.

The project is targeting to empower about 60,000 persons along 11 agricultural value chains in six states.

It is also expected that 35 per cent of the beneficiaries of the project will be women and youths who will be empowered along Rice, Cocoa, Poultry, Cashew, Maize, Ginger, Diary, Wheat, Tomato, Cassava and Aquaculture value chains.

The National Project Coordinator (NPC), Mr Mohammed Jobdi said APPEALS is a 6-year project designed in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) of the Federal Government.

The Project has a total of 55 Alliances (off-taker/out-growers) involving nine value chains.

Mapping of Production clusters are being carried out across the states. Enugu has mapped 68 production clusters (Cashew 11, Poultry 52, rice 5).

In Kogi State, A total of 159 Commodity Interest Groups (CIGs) comprising 61 CIGs for rice, 44 CIGs for cassava and 54 CIGS for cashew were mapped and geo-referenced across 23 clusters in the state. Seven (7) clusters, nine (9) clusters and seven (7) clusters were for rice, cassava and cashew respectively across the state.

In terms of technology, a total of 64 climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive technologies (85.3% against year 3 target) have been demonstrated to farmers in the participating states since project inception. These demonstrations were done in collaboration with relevant institutions across the country.

Recently, during the Project Facilitators Training in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Dr Jobdi said the project development objective is to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chain in the participating states.

“APPEALS project is a 6-year project designed in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) of the Federal Government.

“It intends to build on the legacy of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), and plans to support policy trusts on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification.

“The project is targeting 60,000 individuals as direct beneficiaries ie. 10,000 beneficiaries per state, and 300,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.

“It is anticipated that 35 percent of direct beneficiaries (or 21,000 individuals) will be women and youth. The Project has eleven commodity value chains which include Rice, Cocoa, Poultry, Cashew, Maize, Ginger, Diary, Wheat, Tomato, Cassava and Aquaculture.

“These priority value chains were carefully selected due to their potential in contributing to the government stated priority goals of (i) Food Security and local Production, (ii) Potential for exports, and (iii) contribution to improvement of livelihoods, and speedy income generation including jobs creation along the value chains”, he said.

He said presently, the project is being implemented in these six states with their respective value chains.

He listed the participating states and value chains to include Cross River (Rice, Cocoa, Poultry), Enugu (Rice, Cashew, Poultry), Kaduna (Maize, Ginger, Dairy) Kano (Rice, Wheat, Tomato), Kogi (Cassava, Cashew, Rice), Lagos (Rice, Aquaculture, Poultry).

“The project was approved by the World Bank on March 23, 2017 and became disbursement effective on May 24, 2018. It is expected to close by September 2023”, he said.

In Kogi state, the State Project Coordinator, Dr SanniAbdullahiOzomata said the project is exposing farmers in the state to modern farming technologies.

Ozomata said the farmers were also being trained on capacity building aside supporting them to increase their productivity and processing.

He said the 3 main value chains in Kogi state are cassava, cashew and rice, which they have identified most of the farmers in the state.

Ozomata said the project has 5 components which includes productivity enhancement, agro processing, infrastructural support to rural areas, technical knowledge and capacity building.

“We need to let them know the new technologies that they should start making use of, not just about supporting them with inputs and other land preparation support, so what we just did was to include capacity building for them to make sure that what they do in the past that is not yielding result, they try something better for them to get a better yield, that’s what we do for cashew farmers.

“APPEALS Project in Kogi state is supporting both farmers that are into production, we are supporting those that are into processing and those that are into marketing, so, it’s all encompassing.

“We are linking those that are producing to the processors and we are also linking those that are producing to the marketers and linking the processors to marketers.

The Cross River state Coordinator of APPEALS project, Mr Marcel Agim said the state’s priority value chains are cocoa, rice and poultry.

He said the APPEALS project in Cross River state and the government work very closely.

He said so far, the project has trained about 450 women and youths in the state and the training is on going.

The Lagos State APPEALS project said it has trained about 790 women and youths in the state on modern poultry farming.

The Lagos State Coordinator of APPEALS project, OlurantiOviebo said the farmers have also been exposed to modern poultry technologies to enhance production.

“In poultry right now we have trained 790 women and youths across the poultry value chains  but we have more in the poultry value chains”.

On the technologies being deployed, she said “poultry is doing great things in Lagos presently the project is supporting quiet a number of farmers in new technologies, we have nipple fitted drinkers and palletized feeds for poultry farmers for those raising broilers.

“You all aware that the federal government has ban importation of poultry into the country and so the government is also looking into how to empower farmers to ensure that they can maximize their production.”

“In time past most farmers were achieving 1.9kg in eight weeks with their matched feed but with the technology that the project has brought to the fore which is nipple fitted drinkers and the palletized feed, today, our farmers are achieving 2.2kg in six weeks, and the project is not just educating farmers they are also supporting them with inputs and this improved technology”, she said.

In Kaduna, the State Coordinator Dr YahayaAminu said they project was empowering ginger farmers in order to maximise production.

He said despite training 300 ginger farmers, the project was also targeting another 1000 ginger processors in terms of interventions.

“So far we have trained 300 ginger farmers, in terms of post harvest handling, we have developed value chain investment plan for about 1000 ginger farmers that are getting interventions at the moment, we are targeting another 1000 processors who are likely going to get their interventions before the end of the year, before the current ginger harvest period.

“When you look at the background of ginger situation in the country and in the world today, ginger is the fastest moving beverage in the world today, the international market for ginger is valued at about $5 billion and it is expected to reach $6 billon in the six seven years but the market share of Nigeria ginger is very low in terms of value but in terms of the quantity is very significant.

“What is happening is that Nigeria dry season ginger is been exported to other countries they process and it add more value to it and they re-export back to the international market at much higher value.

“What it means is that the key challenge to ginger is interms of quality control in term of  quality control, processing and what we are doing under kaduna APPEALS project is to collaborate with them and support them in terms of improve quality of handling and processing”, Aminu said.

He said farmers were being trained in terms of handling and post harvest management. “We have been working on the value chains in order to give support and interventions for them to access processing equipment, handling equipment, packaging facilities so that the quality of ginger being produced in Kaduna state will improve and attract premium in the international market”, he added.

 

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