Okerafor Athanatius, Jalingo.
Taraba State Government, yesterday, opened a bid exercise for the construction of earth and farm roads across the three designated localities of Gassol, Karim Lamido and Wukari local government areas of the State.
The Bid exercise, which was coordinated under the auspices of the Federal Government /International Fund for Agricultural Development (FG/IFAD) assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) was opened in Jalingo, the state capital.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, held at the FADAMA III Conference Hall, Jalingo, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. David Ishaya Kassa commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for including Taraba State in the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) among other states in the country.
The Commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, explained that with the initiative, lots of opportunities of agricultural activities would be opened to rural farmers.
David Ishaya Kassa who pointed out that with intervention of the Federal Government in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD) in construction of earth and farm roads in rural areas, there will be improvement in farmers’ participation in food production to enhance food security in the country.
The Commissioner said, with the income of food security of the poor and rural households, who engage in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava, the intervention crops in the programme areas will be enhanced and sustained.
While wishing Bidders to have a successful exercise, he advised the lucky ones to carry out quality jobs so that rural farmers will benefit from the programme of the Federal Government and IFAD.
Earlier, the Taraba State Programme Coordinator, FGN/IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), Irimiya Musa said, the Federal Government of Nigeria is supplementing a six year VCDP in six states of Taraba, Benue, Anambra, Ebonyi Niger and Ogun.
Represented by the Procurement Officer, Joro Yusuf, the Programme Coordinator explained that the programme is aimed at reducing rural poverty and accelerate economic growth.
Irimiya Musa noted that some of the rural areas in the state blessed with potentials for rice and cassava production lack access roads stressing that with the implementation of the programme, there is an expectation of infrastructural facilities.
The Programme Coordinator however revealed that IFAD has approved the construction of a number of access roads in identified targeted areas of Gassol, Karim Lamido and Wukari.
He added that the completion date for the programme is scheduled for 31st December, 2019 while the closing date is 30th June, 2020.
According to him, to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency, the roads were to be procured through what he described as National Competitive Bidding (NCB), explaining that the targeted local governments were advertised in the Leadership and Shuttle Newspapers in December, 2015.