Group calls for more tractors for youth farmers in Ebonyi

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)—assisted ?Value Chain Development Programme (VDCP) in Ebonyi has called for the provision of more tractors for its youth farmers in Ebonyi state.

The Rural Institution Gender Youth Mainstreaming Officer (RIGMO) of IFAD—VCDP Mrs Fransisca Anya said this during a knowledge sharing and networking forum organised for the programme’s benefiting youths in the Ebonyi state.

“Accessing tractors to plough their farms on time was a major
challenge confronting the youths as it makes them commence cultivation

She advocateed for more tractors to be given to the youths at least one for each benefiting Local Government Area (LGA) in the state
because it would enhance their farming capabilities.

“IFAD—VCDP offered one tractor which is presently used by the youths as more tractors would be desirable at this period.

“The privately-owned tractors have proved to be insufficient because many farmers need them thereby making them not easily accessed by our programme’s benefiting youths.

Anya noted that despite this challenge, the youths have performed creditably in their various endeavours across the state, as over 80 per cent of them are thriving in their farming endeavours.

“Some of the youths have cultivated more than 2.5 hectares of
pro-vitamin cassava with Mrs Cynthia Edeze, Emmanuel Nkama, Chinyere the Chukwu, Samuel Oduko, Dickson Agwu among others performing creditably
to IFAD’s expectation.

She noted that Edeze for example has been in the lead of the youth
team both in terms of production and acreage as she commended
cultivation with two hectares while others were crawling.

“We have trained cassava and rice entrepreneurs who in turn, have
trained other youths to key-into the programme.

“We intend to raise the production and related capacities of these
youths to make them compete favourably with youths from other
benefiting IFAD—VCDP state and help in achieving the progarmme’s
overall objectives.

In her presentation, Edeze noted that she faced several challenges
before rising to the top but persevered and tenaciously applied all
tutorials received from IFAD—VCDP.

“I started with little funds and did my farm works alone and finance
was one of my greatest challenges in the beginning.

She noted that she has recorded financial breakthrough as a cassava
stem multiplier and made millions of naira after selling the produce
from her farms.

A Youth Farmer from Afikpo South LGA, Mr Eze Ama-Oko said that he
joined IFAD—VCDP in 2015 and received trainings both within and
outside the state.

“I saw farming as a means of subsistence before I joined IFAD—VCDP but
the tutorials I have received from the organisation made me realise
that it is one the most lucrative ventures one can do.

He noted that received fero-52 (rice variety) last year by one of the
youths trained at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture
(IITA) who unfortunately could not continue with it.

“I planted one hectare with it and luckily after harvest, I realised
4.2 metric tonne as I applied the best agronomic practices with the
help of IFAD—VCDP’s extension officers.

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