Taraba Government says it has registered 4,550 farmers and 2,689 households as beneficiaries of Fadama lll Additional Financing (AF) l and ll project in the state.
The State Project Coordinator, Mrs Regina Festus, made the disclosure at a news conference on Friday in Jalingo.
Festus said the 4,550 rice farmers registered under AF l, constituted 350 Production Groups and 50 Production Clusters.
“The essence of AF l is to boost rice farming to attain food security, and make farming a business rather than a part time job.
“Rice farmers can access our support by forming groups of 10 or 15 farmers, who will form a cluster of minimum of two and maximum of 20 production groups.
“They will then register with cooperatives and open group bank account for grants.
“There are some supports that come through the group account and others come through the accounts of accredited service providers.
“The benefiting groups are expected to contribute 50 per cent of the cost of the farm inputs they request for, while the project will pay the remaining 50 per cent of the cost.
“Similarly, the beneficiaries’ contributions for the purchase of farm equipment like sprayers and thrashers stand at 20 per cent. The project will pay the cost of the remaining 80 per cent,” she said.
The coordinator said that Fadama lll AF l had targeted 2,680 households as beneficiaries, who were selected from 67 communities across the state.
She said that insurgency victims who were either internally displaced or based in their communities, constituted the households.
“We identified 40 households within a community based on how adversely affected they were by the insurgency.
“They were provided with inputs of their preferences not only in farming but also other agricultural enterprises like poultry, fishery, among others.
“To cushion the effect of hardship before they begin to enjoy their production, each household was given a 50kg bag of rice, maize and beans. A gallon of groundnut oil, palm oil and four sachets of seasoning,” Festus said.
The coordinator said the registration of production groups was ongoing even as priority was given to unemployed graduates, youths and women.
She said that previous Fadama lll had recorded success in developing farming infrastructure; farmers processing capabilities and carrying along both pastoralists and crop producers.
The coordinator said that the state was among the few that benefited from the current Fadama lll AF which was aimed at consolidating the gains of Fadama lll and ll.
She commended the State, Federal Government and the World Bank for supporting the project, urging its beneficiaries to reciprocate the support by increasing their production and income levels.