The World Bank says it will give a total sum of $200 million to over 60,000 Nigerian farmers through its Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) initiative.
This was made known in a statement by Anne Ihugba, the head of Corporate Communications of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), on Sunday.
According to the statement would be executed across 6 states with 21,000 women as direct beneficiaries of the World Bank project.
Ihugba said the project would be deployed in Cross River, Enugu, Lagos, Kogi, Kaduna, and Kano states, targeting 60,000 beneficiaries and 360,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.
“It is anticipated that 35 percent of direct beneficiaries or 21,000 individuals will be women. Additionally, the project has a dedicated sub-component to benefit women and youths that will allow them to develop agri-businesses that are expected to create jobs and improve their livelihoods,” she added.
NIRSAL has signed Memorandum of Agreement and Action (MoA) on APPEALS.
She noted that the project was meant for development, financing, and support of de-risked and optimized agribusiness projects.
Ihugba stated that: “In line with the project development objective of APPEALS, NIRSAL would provide its Tools, Techniques, Methodologies and strategic Partnerships (TTMPs) according to its Mapping to Markets (M2M) strategy on the project.”
According to her, this was with the aim of enhancing agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers.
She equally noted that NIRSAL, through the project, would ensure “improvement of value addition along the cassava, cashew, rice, poultry, aquaculture, cocoa, wheat, tomato, maize, ginger and dairy value chains in a sustainable manner.”
Ihugba said the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, had at the signing of the MoA, assured that APPEALS had found a trustworthy, reliable and capable partner that shared the project’s objectives of improved value addition among others.
The NIRSAL CEO assured that the agency would deploy its technologies toward the formation of Agro-Geo-Cooperatives for selected commodity value chains through geospatial mapping, soil suitability tests, Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrolment for farmers among others.