The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has distributed 25 power-tilling machines to 25 co-operative groups, in Ebonyi State, as part of part of its Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).
Each of the power-tilling machines is valued at N800,000.
Project Coordinator of IFAD—VCDP in the state, Mr. Sunday Ituma, during the distribution of the machineries, said that gesture was, among others, targeted at solving the many problems associated with farming especially the mechanization problems facing the farmers.
“We decided to go for the power-tillers which can perform the same task as tractors in the areas of land preparation, ploughing, and harrowing of our rice fields” he said.
He clarified that the power-tillers were given to the groups based on marching grants, with IFAD—VCDP contributing 70% while the benefiting groups would contribute 30%.
He said, however, said that IFAD would continue to own the equipment until the groups complete their payments in line with the dictates of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) both parties would sign.
“We are also distributing 50 knap-sack sprayers to the groups as 750 individuals from these groups have been selected and trained by experts from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the use of these sprayers.
He noted that the project was also distributing smart weather devices to appropriately guide the beneficiaries on the right periods for fertilizer application.
In his speech, Ebonyi State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Ogodo-Ali Nome, pledged that his ministry would assist IFAD in its VCDP programme to ensure that the equipment are not sold.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Rose Nwikpo, while speaking with newsmen thanked IFAD for offering the equipment and promised to effectively utilize them.