Enugu Commercial Agric Gets $981.8m Lifeline

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The Enugu State Government said it had disbursed more than 981.86 million dollars to more than 424 beneficiaries through the Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (CADP) as at November 2010.

Mr. Egbah Romanus, the CADP State Project Coordinator, gave the figures in Enugu on Tuesday in an interview with Newsmen.

The project coordinator said the state forwarded 42 sub-projects for implementation, out of which 36 were approved with four in fruit trees, eight in poultry and 24 in maize.

He said the implementation of the programme was in progress in 10 sub-projects.

Romanus added that 26 out of the sub-projects had been fully implemented by the beneficiaries, who comprised 281 males and 143 females.

“The total sum of the sub-projects is N122.149 million, comprising contributions totalling N67.467 from Community Interest Groups (CIGs) and N53.537 million IDA contributions,” he said.

Romanus said that more than 1,112 beneficiaries attended various capacity building programmes, including project facilitation training and communication equipment training.

He pointed out that 10 persons had equally attended the African Cashew Alliance Conference in Maputo.

“The workshop exposed participants to new techniques of cashew processing and also linked the farmers to major cashew merchants in the world.

“The Enugu State CADP also aligned its programme with Songhai and collaborated with the Power Holdling Company of Nigeria and commercial banks, among other stakeholders.

“It has signed an MOU with a private farm that will buy all the maize produced under the CADP in the state because the farm has shown remarkable difference in both volume of production and productivity,” Romanus said.

He, however, noted that the programme faced some challenges, including non-payment of contributions by the CIGs.

The project coordinator said that most of the CIGs could not prepare sub-project proposals, thereby putting much pressure on the project staff.

He also identified poor staff motivation due to non-payment of allowances as one of the challenges militating against the attainment of the desired results by the programme.

Romanus said that to overcome these challenges, the CIGs would depend on bank credits, adding that the engagement of extension service agents was being proposed to assist the facilitators in the preparation of sub-project proposals.

He also said that efforts were equally being made to ensure prompt payment of staff allowances.

Five states — Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Cross River and Lagos — are participating in the CADP.