The Kogi State government is seeking the assistance of the World Bank through its FADAMA 111 AF project to boost its rice production and become the largest rice producer in the north-central region of the country.
This was disclosed by Kehinde Oloruntoba, commissioner of agriculture in the state during a visit by a team from the FADAMA 111 project in Kogi recently.
According to Oloruntoba the intervention would enable the state to attain its desired target of becoming the largest producer of rice in the North Central region and help address youth unemployment in the state.
”We have just completed arrangement with a private investor who will be siting a rice mill of 50 tons per day at Omi in Yagba West Local Government of the state,” he said.
”The Federal Government has also promised us another 50 tons rice mill in Ibaji and so, we must upscale our rice cultivation to produce paddy rice to feed these mills,” he added.
Adetunji Oredipe, task team leader, FADAMA III AF in the state, said the mid-term review mission team was in the state to re-assess the intervention programme by finding answers to some salient questions on its activities.
“Kogi signed a subsidiary agreement to access $20 million but had so far only drawn $3 million for its intervention projects,” Oredipe said.
He explained that there is still a window of opportunity to access the fund with the extension of the programme by eight months for the benefit of the devastated North East states.
The team leader solicited the support of the government for the success of the FADAMA projects in the state by waiving the new order for all MDAs to operate on the Single Treasury Account (TSA) saying that the practice would impede progress of the programme.
Oredipe said the four-day mid-term review would enable the team address issues of assumption of the success or otherwise of the programme in the state and identify specific areas that required modification or outright overhaul.
Victoria Nnakiaike, Lokoja