By Chinyere Anyanwu

 

Farmers numbering 620 from 10 communities in Nasarawa State have benefitted from the $250,000 World Bank facilitated Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) revolving loan.

Speaking during the disbursement exercise flagged off at the weekend in Doma Local Government Area of the state, the Governor, Abdullahi Sule, said the loan was in line with the vision of the federal and state governments to support farmers to mitigate the impact of climate change and boost food production.

The governor stated that as part of efforts to boost food production, the state government recently distributed 23 tractors and farm inputs to 10,000 farmers in the state.

He explained that the ACReSAL revolving interest-free fund under its Community Climate Resilience (CCR) component would help to boost agricultural output and improve the livelihood of the beneficiaries.

Sule, who said the 10 benefiting communities are from Doma and Toto Local Government Areas, noted that climate change had brought numerous challenges to the environment as well as the livelihood of farmers, adding that the intervention would go a long way to ameliorate their plight.

He assured that his administration would continue to collaborate with partners to provide resources and support that would cushion the effect of climate change and tackle poverty in the state.

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“To this end, Nasarawa State is  partnering with the Federal Government, World Bank through ACReSAL project to help the  vulnerable communities to adapt to the impact of climate change.

“We expect this support to lead to food security, improve income of the communities and create employment opportunities especially among the vulnerable groups including persons with special needs, women and youths.

“The project will also enhance farmers and communities’ capacity of climate smart agriculture through technology and innovation, increase community farmers understanding of sustainable agricultural practices and help address local conflicts and foster peace,” Sule said.

The governor said the financial support was specifically targeted at registered ACReSAL communities and farmer groups across the state, pointing out that the revolving fund would support farmers to implement community climate resilient initiatives and ensure sustainability beyond the lifespan of the ACReSAL project. He, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to utilise the fund for the purpose it was meant.

In her remarks, Joy Iganya-Agene, Task Team Leader, ACReSAL, said that 620 beneficiaries comprised 367 male and 253 female from the 10 communities of the two LGAs.

Ms Iganya-Agene, who is also a Senior Environmental Specialist, World Bank Nigeria Office, said five communities each from the benefiting LGAs were selected for the gesture.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Aliyu Ogah, the Andoma of Doma, thanked the state, federal government and World Bank for the gesture to farmers in his domain.

The royal father expressed optimism that the support would help improve productivity of farmers in the benefiting communities.


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