Kogi State Government says it has signed two agreements with the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to get subsidiary loans totalling $72 million, about 27.44 billion Naira.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mukadam Idris said the state government will receive $62 million (23.63 billion Naira) from the World Bank and $10 million (3.81 billion Naira) from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The state government says it intends to commit the loans to rural roads, agriculture market and value chain development.
A government’s spokesperson, Mohammed Onogwu, in a statement on Friday said the IFAD assisted Value Chain Development Programme is an agricultural initiative aimed at reducing rural poverty, enhancing food security among poor households and promoting economic growth on a sustainable basis.
In March 2020, the Kogi State Government got a $100 million (about 38.12 billion Naira) loan request approved by the National Assembly
Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, had said at the time that the state needed the loan to establish a food processing zone and to modernise its agricultural processes.
Onogwu, however, says the programme is essentially on the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in targeted LGAs in the state.
“The programme is made up of three basic components which are agricultural market development, to support value addition; market linkages and support to market infrastructure and to build a very strong agro-business and value chain orientation to farmers in rural communities.”
He said another component was smaller productivity enhancement, while the third programme was management and coordination.
According to him the World Bank loan for Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) will upgrade over 500 kilometres of rural roads, improve agro-logistics centres and enhance connectivity and access to local markets and agribusiness services in the state.
By Abel Ejikeme