Kaduna Govt Optimistic of Full Implementation of APPEALS Project
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government have expressed optimism and hope that the state will successfully complete the implementation of the Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project, despite lagging behind in some areas of implementation.
APPEALS project is a six years Federal Government of Nigeria, World Bank assisted programme, currently being implemented in Cross River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi and Lagos state with the objective to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains in the participating states.
The State Commissioner of Agric, Ibrahim Hussaini, noted at the weekend during the opening ceremony of the 7th Mission Support of the project that despite lagging behind in some areas, the state have made remarkable progress.
“Because it is the Agro productivity and you know enhancement project for the livelihood of particularly the small farmers owners in our community, and you know Kaduna state is an agrarian state, so we have a very big stake as far as it is concern.
“The project as highlighted is a six years project, and we have spent 4 years six months, and we have 1 year, 9 months to go. In the implementation certainly, we have made successes in some of the components and we are lagging behind in some.
“The mission here is to identify the gaps, to interacts with the world bank and the federal ministry of Finance, and Agriculture team to ensure that in the next one year and 9 months left all the mandate objectives of the projects are achieved.
We need to embark on a lots of community engagement, we also need to train the capacity of the implementation team and also need to also provide, especially the infrastructural components of the project because it link the farmers to access the market which is very important. So these are some of the areas we think we need to work very hard.” He said.
He added that “so far so good, in any implementation, you will have your strength and weakness, and the mission is to identify particularly those challenges we are facing, and to assist us in addressing them, and we will definitely address them.
“At the end of the technical session they would have identified those areas, and would highlight them for us. The acting governor is going engage them after the mission and we will together ensure that some of the areas that we need to improve on are improved.”
Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, who represented the World Bank at the meeting, who commended the state for her effort, noted that there are still a lot in the implementation because of the short time to the end of the project.
According to him, some of the things that are expected to happen within the short period are; capacity building of the team and technology transfer to accelerate progress.
He said the best way the state can measure the success of the project is enumerate how much it has added to the state’s food basket, if not it means the state don’t know what she is doing as far as the APPEALS is concern, saying “this mission will be assessing what is on the ground and ask ourselves how we can move forward.”
On his part, the State Project Coordinator, Dr. Yahaya Aminu, expressed confidence that at the end of the mission, the state would come out stronger.
“There is no policy that does not have challenges, the mission is for us to come together and look at how far we have gone in implementing the APPEALS project and what we need to do to achieve more.
“This is the fourth year of the project and it is expected that we are as close as possible. We are aware of the challenges in the state but have fully commenced disbursement for beneficiaries to ensure that our beneficiaries both for the women and youths empowerment programme for the value chain are implemented successfully.
“I want to say we are progressing very well, we have already supported 1,403 beneficiaries in the three priority value chain in the state which is Diaries, Ginger, and maize, we have already gotten approval for supporting another 3,700 beneficiaries.
“We also have approval for supporting our 1,400 beneficiaries for the women and Youths, we have completed our design for infrastructural interventions in the various Agro-business cluster, and before the end of this year, we will advertise for the project and then by first quarter of next year we will commence implementation.” Dr. Yahaya, explained.