17 June 2011
An official of the World Bank, Dr Abimbola Adubi, has commended the implementation of Fadama III programme in the South-South zone, describing it as "successful ' '.
Adubi, the Task Team Leader, made the commendation on Thursday in Uyo during the 4th Joint World Bank/FGN Supervision Mission of projects under the programme.
"You know when Fadama I came it was an experimental programme and it was implemented in five states to cover irrigation and water.
"In Fadama II, we covered 12 states and we were expecting an increase in the income of farmers by 20 per cent but what we got was 63 per cent," Adubi said.
He said that the implementation of Fadama III would help to increase the income of rural farmers through a value chain approach covering production, processing and marketing.
According to him, Fadama III is intended to reduce the cost of inputs and post harvest losses suffered by farmers.
Earlier, Dr Isaiah Foby, the Zonal Coordinator of the programme, said that a total of N1.5 billion had so far been disbursed to rural farmers across the zone.
Foby said that the implementation of the programme had helped to create employment and reduce poverty among rural dwellers.
He said that the non-payment of counterpart funding by states and local governments was the main challenge hindering the implementation of the programme in the zone.
In his address, Dr Ita Akan, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture in Akwa Ibom, said the state government had disbursed its counterpart funds for 2009 and approved that of 2010.
He assured the team that the government would ensure prompt payment of its counterpart funding.
He said that the implementation of the programme was in consonance with the government 's policy to create jobs, increase the income of rural dwellers and ensure sustainable development at the grassroots.