…As farmers lament access to Credit Facilities, farm implements.
Agricultural Transformation Support Phase One (ATASP-1), a programme developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with the African Development Bank [AfDB] has assured Anambra farmers of their willingness to help solve some of their problems, including access to credit facilities.
This is coming as farmers from Omor, Anaku, Umueje in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra state identified access to credit facilities, lack of access roads, distrust among tractor drivers, unavailability of off-takers, among others, as challenges confronting them in the area.
The zonal outreach specialist, ATASP 1, Adani-Omor Staple crop processing zone, Chief Emmanuel Udeh, in an interaction with the local farmers last Thursday at Omor, explained that ATASP-1 will be implemented as a five-year plan, financed from the African Development Foundation (AfDF) loan and grant resources respectively in four Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs).
“In this phase 1 of the programme, we have seven states of Anambra, Enugu, Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa and Kano and each of these areas hasits specific crop mandate. Our own mandate in Omor/Adani is in rice and cassava” he said
The zonal Gender and Social Development specialist, Omor/Adani staple crop zone, Mr. Chinedu Ugwuta, while introducing innovative platform to farmers, said the innovation is to help the value chain actors be of mutual benefit to one another.
He further explained that Innovative Platform is an aspect of the ATA Support Programme-one operation, in which value chain actors – producers of various implements, fabricators, off-takers, input suppliers, thresher owners, marketers, par boilers and others – are brought together on a platform, so that each will benefit from the experiences of the other. He, however, urged the farmers to imbibe the attitude of team building by identifying their common problems and providing common solutions, adding that such will increase agricultural output, help the poor farmers realise the full benefit of their work, creation job opportunities and increase their wealth.
Ugwuta advised farmers to specialise in any area they have comparative advantage as the ATASP-1project has a special programme for building the capacity of youths and women in agribusiness as it adopted commodity value chain development approach.
Some farmers,Osita Boniface (Seed rice producer), Francis Obalim and Francis Nnechi, said they are being constrained by road infrastructure, difficulty in accessing rice seed and high cost of transplanting as well as drying machines for drying their rice in this rainy season. Others like Samuel Obiora andIfeomaNwabueze complained of distrust among tractor operators, lack of irrigation system and off takers in Omor area.
Responding, Chief Udeh and Chinedu Ugwuta assured the farmers that ATASP-1 would assist them get all the necessary infrastructure, stating that the dilapidated irrigation system in Omor would soon be repaired.
“We will also take care of the renovation of the cottage hospital in Omor and provide other infrastructure to take care of the infrastructural needs but we want you to know that this platform is for business and not for jamboree as there will be no room for political farmers” said Udeh.