As part of its efforts to reduce poverty, create employment opportunities for Nigerians, the African Development Bank (AFDB) has empowered over 20, 000 farmers in the last four years. National programme Coordinator of Agricultural transformation Support Programme Phase 1(ATASP-1), Ibrahim Arabi, who addressed newsmen recently in Abuja, explained that the scheme was currently being implemented in 200 rural communities.
He said: “The empowerment programme is ongoing in 200 rural rural communities, 33 local governments in seven states-Anambra, Enugu, Niger Kano Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto with a land area of 194,426km.
“The African Development Bank (AFDB) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development developed ATASP-1, which has adopted a holistic approach to tackling the challenges confronting agriculture in Nigeria. This partnership is funding ATASP-1 to the tune of $174.85 including grant facility. The programme became operative in February 2015 and subsequently launched in March 2015.
Forging ahead, Arabi said: “The task before the new leadership is to quickly complete the remaining social infrastructures and fast track total implementation of the economic infrastructure such as irrigation facilities and rural feeder roads as well as training of 40, 000 youths in various value chain activities before the end of the programme in 2020.