IFAD, NDDC Finance $100M Agriculture Digitalisation Project In Niger Delta

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News in brief: IFAD, NDDC, FG are financing a $100 million agriculture digitalisation project in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region to create jobs for youth and women. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Niger Delta Development Commission will execute the project with a focus on using ICT tools to revolutionise farming practices and improve food security.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has expressed its commitment to supporting the Nigerian government in digitalising agriculture in the Niger Delta region. A move that is aimed at enhancing job creation for youth and women living in the area, a local news outlet reports.

The project, called Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises for Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), it is funded through a loan of $60 million from IFAD. The total project cost is about $100.2 million and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will finance cough up $30 million while executing it with the Ministry of Agriculture. Meanwhile, the federal government is expected to provide a funding of $3.06 million and the $4.88 million will come from the local government itself.

In recognition of the need for such innovation, the federal government recently had an exchange visit to the IFAD-assisted Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods (KCEP-CRAL) Project.

During this visit, the The leadership of the federal government, the NDDC, and the IFAD LIFE-ND Project reiterated the commitment to transforming agriculture in the Niger Delta through digitalisation.

Also, the team shared valuable insights on how to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers, through the deployment of ICT tools and strategies.

They stressed the significance of the innovations which would revolutionize farming practices, enhance food security, and improve the socio-economic well-being of local communities in the region.

IFAD Country Director, Dede Ekoue, during the exchange visit, expressed the institution’s desire to use ICT tools for agricultural development. She acknowledged the strides already made by KCEP-CRAL. Additionally, she highlighted the opportunities in supporting the achievement by the LIFE-ND project in the area of ICT.

The Director, Project Coordinating Unit of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Bukar Musa, highlighted the importance of the partnership. He noted the position of ICT for Development initiative with the agricultural policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He emphasised that ICT for Development was a veritable tool for ensuring food security and job creation. Musa added that it will enhance economic growth in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Project Coordinator of LIFE-ND Project, Abiodun Sanni, noted the project’s unwavering commitment to digitising agriculture in the region.

The LIFE-ND Project has supported beneficiary farmers to access improved hybrid crops planting materials like cassava stem cuttings, rice seeds, plantain suckers, and so on. They have also gained access improved breed of poultry broiler/layer, and the Clarias Catfish breed for aquaculture production.

The project has so far added an approximate gross income value of over ₦3 billion to Nigeria’s economy, a report said. It is expected to be completed by 2025 the following nine states should have benefitted from it: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. Also, 50% of the benefeciaries are expected to be women and the rest should be youths between the ages of 18 and 35.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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