The Kaduna State Coordinator of Agro-processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), Dr. Yahaya Aminu has assured that the project will develop agribusinesses, create jobs and improve livelihoods of residents of the state.
Aminu said the project is meant to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains of dairy, ginger, and maize for the state.
He disclosed that the project targets 10,000 direct beneficiaries and 50,000 indirect beneficiaries in the state.
The APPEALS project is developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), in collaboration with the World Bank, with over $200m to cover animal husbandry, dairy and key crops production in Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Cross River, Kogi and Enugu States, with comparative advantage in ginger, maize, tomato, cassava, rice, cocoa, cashew, poultry, aquaculture and wheat production, as well as value chains.
The project is in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy/the Green Alternative that focuses on food security, local production, job creation, and economic diversification. The states were picked due to conditions, such as good soil, favourable whether and other factors favourable to their corresponding crops. Maize, ginger, and dairy production were chosen for Kaduna State.
He said: “At least 35 per cent (3,500) of direct beneficiaries will be women and at least five-10 per cent (500-1000) will be People with Disabilities (PWD). The project has a component to benefit women and youth that will allow them to develop agribusinesses that are expected to create jobs and improve their livelihoods.”
While describing gender and age as key drivers of inequality in agriculture, he said the most advantaged segment of the society in agriculture are women and the youths, hence the rationale to target them in the project.
“Studies have indicated that the potential of women and youths to drive agric production is probably much higher than other segments of society. In families or societies where women actively participate in agriculture, the living standard of the home is averagely better and higher than where it is only the male that are active in agriculture.
“That is why the APPEALS project now is trying to remove obstacles faced by women and youths and provide opportunities for them.”