The World Bank said on Thursday that it would commit $500 million to support the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government.
The bank’s Fadama Task Team Leader, Dr Abimbola Adubi, who stated this in Lokoja during a visit to Kogi’s Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, said the money would be spent on the provision of agriculture infrastructure, staple crops processing and supply of improved seeds and seedlings to farmers across the country.
He said that the global bank will spend additional $200 million on the production of cassava, rice and horticultural crops.
Adubi said that the World Bank decided to lend a hand of support to the transformation programme after a thorough assessment by a team of experts.
He said that the programme was capable of creating millions of jobs and the reduce poverty level among Nigerians.
The official however, said that Kogi State was the only state to benefit from the bank’s cassava production support plan.
Adubi said the state being the country’s largest producer of the crop.
He said that the team was in the state to assess the staple crop processing zone at Alepo community.
Adubi said the team would interact with farmers and other stakeholders to know their challenges and generate an action plan to kick-start the programme.
He said that the bank expected the same level of commitment from the state government by ensuring prompt payment of its counterpart fund.
Responding, Awoniyi said that the World Bank’s position confirmed the state government’s endorsement of the Federal Government’s transformation programme.
The deputy governor said that because the state was blessed with vast arable land, it decided to develop agriculture to provide jobs for the youths and grow the state economically.
Awoniyi said the state government would ensure prompt payment of its counterpart funds as it was determined to ensure the success of the programme in the state.