By Amos Aar
THE BENUE State Programme Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)- Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Benue, Mr Emmanuel Igbaukum, has lamented that insecurity is negatively impacting on agricultural activities in the state thereby leading to food crisis.
Igbaukum stated this during advocacy visits to brief the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Moses Ogbaji, and the Director-General (DG), Budget and Economic Planning Commission, Dr Jerome Andohol on the progress of the organisation on Friday in Makurdi.
The coordinator reiterated further that insecurity occasioned by farmers and herders clashes in some parts of the state was slowing down agricultural activities.
He lamented that some of the farmers that IFAD had assisted with inputs were displaced from their ancestral homes and were taking refuge in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state.
“Those farmers are no longer into farming again as a result of their displacement.
“Government at all levels should join hands to nip the ugly situation which had lingered on for years in the bud in order to boost food security,” Igbaukum said.
He disclosed that IFAD had assisted 53,000 farmers in the state since the takeoff of the programme in 2014, stressing that apart from supporting them with inputs, IFAD do build their capacities especially on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP).
Responding, Andohol commended IFAD for supporting farmers with inputs to ensure food security.
The DG urged IFAD to venture into agricultural activities that would have direct bearing on the people.
He assured that the commission would put modalities in place to address the challenge of counterpart funding.
The commissioner, Prof. Ogbaji, said that the government was satisfied with the performance of IFAD in the state.
Ogbaji said the herdsmen attacks on farmers had reduced, and commended Governor Alia for his efforts which he said have yielded positive results in that regard.
He further disclosed that the state had been enrolled into the dry season farming scheme of the federal government and it would come with dams.
The commissioner also assured of prompt payment of counterpart funding, so that IFAD’s intervention would go on smoothly in the state.