IFAD scores Ortom high in agriculture, poverty eradication as governor promises funds for agricultural development

    Nigerian Concord Newspaper

    The International Fund For Agricultural Development, (IFAD) has scored the governor of Benue state, Dr. Samuel Ortom, high in the areas of agriculture, food security and poverty eradication since be assumed duties as governor of the state in 2015.

    Making the commendation at the presentation of the award of Peace, Food Security and Nutrition Champion to Governor Ortom yesterday, Benue State Programme Manager IFAD Value Chain Development Programme, Mr. Igbaukum Emmanuel, stated that the award was in appreciation to the governor for his effort in developing Agriculture value chain in the state.

    He noted that Governor Ortom has committed huge financial resources running into millions of naira as counterpart funding that has facilitated the execution of agricultiral projects worth over 2.5 billion naira across the state including the training of over 25, 000 smallholder farmers.

    Mr. Igbaukum Emmanuel said that the state government’s partnership with Olam Nigeria and IFAD has enabled Olam to purchase goods worth billions of naira from farmers within the state whic has improved the livelihood of the farmers while enhancing food security and addressing poverty reduction in rural areas.

    Responding, Governor Samuel Ortom appreciated IFAD for recognizing his development strides in the agricultural sector by giving him the award.

    The Governor who was represented by the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Hon. Joseph Odaudu, express joy and satisfaction with the progress recorded by smallholder farmers in the state.

    He noted that the state government is impressed by the quality of products showcased at the exhibition stand while promising to inject more funds to make it available for smallholder farmers to enhance their potentials and produce their products in large quantities for export.

    Also speaking, the Principal Special Assistant, PSA to the Governor on Food Security and Nutrition, Hon. Lady Dorcas Ukpe who was also the workshop coordinator tasked Benue people to imbibed the culture of value addition to their farm produce in other to maximize profit on their yields, even as she added that the culture of value addition has the tendency to reduce post harvest loses and unemployment.

    She disclosed that the Governor Ortom led administration has made funds available through the Bank of Industry which farmers can take advantage of to go into food processing as doing could guarantee food security.

    Other awardees were, the Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Benson Abounu who was presented with Exceptional Leadership Award in COVID-19 Outbreak Response and the wife of the Tor Tiv, Prof. Mrs. Felicia Ayatse who was presented with Women in Agriculture Champions award.

    The event which was put together by the Office of the Governor on Food Security and Nutrition in collaboration with State COVID-19 Action Committee, Ministry of Agric. & Natural Resources, UNICEF, WHO, IFAD witnessed presentation by different panel members as participants were taught on developing value addition and prevention of post harvest loses.

    In a related development, Benue state first lady, Dr. Eunice Ortom PhD, also got the Childhood Malnutrition Prevention Champion Award which was presented to her yesterday by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at the IBB Square Makurdi during the commemoration of the World Food Day.