The Ebonyi government has called for more modernized Abakaliki Rice Mill Industry through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assistance with Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).
Governor David Umahi, made the call during a courtesy call on him on Monday at Old Government House, Abakaliki by the Coordinator, IFAD VCDP National Office Market and Enterprise Development Advisor, Hajiya Fatima Mukhtar, President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter.
Umahi represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Kelechi Igwe said that funding, equipping the mill with modern equipment, new varieties of crops and expanded cooperation would boost local farmers competitiveness and food security.
“The state is interested in agriculture but needs modern equipment and funding to encourage rural farmers to accelerate to their desired levels.
“We have commenced transformation of the rice cluster but looking forward for your support.
He further disclosed that the state government had been prompt in paying its counterpart fund following successes recorded from IFAD.
The governor commended IFAD with its teams for their supports, while he promised, continuous assistance and partnership.
Meanwhile, Mukhtar applauded the state governor for giving hundred per cent contribution and support to IFAD VCDP.
She said the visit was part of the ongoing implementation support vision across the programme areas.
She added that it was to check facilities, institutions where necessary for better result.
According to her, the programme development objective is to increase income, ensure sustainable economic growth and improved food security for rural poor house holders engaged in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava.
“Primary goal of IFAD VCDP is to reduce poverty and improve sustainability to enhance accelerated economy growth.
“IFAD has increased its investment in the country, following VCDP tremendous achievements in rice and cassava value chain.
“Ebonyi VCDP has contributed largely and yielded good results,” Mukhtar said. (NAN)