Wednesday, April 24, 2024

AU Partners Bauchi Gov Over N4.2b Agribusiness Development Project

The African Union Development Agency’s New Partnership for Africa Development (AUDA-NEPAD) is partnering with the Bauchi State Government to spend N4.2 billion on boosting agribusiness and innovations to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The African Union Development Agency’s New Partnership for Africa Development (AUDA-NEPAD) is partnering with the Bauchi State Government to spend N4.2 billion on boosting agribusiness and innovations to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Managing Director, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. Esther Ahmed, at the launching of the program in Bauchi, disclosed that in order to achieve food security, the agency came up with the project tagged, ‘Innovative Strengthening of Smallholder Farmers’ Capabilities Towards Productive Land Restoration Amid COVID-19 in Nigeria.’

Esther explained that the project is aimed at improving nutrition through the promotion of sustainable agriculture, adding that it would last for 10 years, with 10 percent of the beneficiaries being people living with disability and 46 percent going to women farmers.

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According to her, the programme is aimed at strengthening smallholder farmer capabilities, accelerating productive land restoration, combating desertification and promoting the use of innovative technology to reduce postharvest losses and maximize food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The total amount budgeted for the project in the first year is put at N4,298,175,660.00. The project is expected to run for a period of 10 years. A total of 5,400 beneficiaries would benefit in the first year of the project, with 2,895 males representing 53.61 per cent and 2,505 females representing 46.39 per cent and 10 per cent of the total beneficiaries for persons with disabilities.

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“The state has earmarked 2,400 hectares of land for the project in the three senatorial districts of the state with three local governments each, making nine, to participate in the project in the cluster farming. 1,200 beneficiaries for drip irrigation (dry season), while 1,800 beneficiaries for rain-fed,” Esther explained.

Also at the launching was Governor Bala Mohammed, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Ibrahim Kashim, who disclosed that the government had paid up N2 billion as counterpart fund to boost food production.

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