The Associate Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mrs Josefina Stubbs, has advised African countries to encourage and empower their respective rural populace to be able to produce enough food to feed the continent. Stubbs made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
She said that the measure was one of the policy recommendations the UN agency took to the third International Conference on Fund for Development, held recently in the East African country. “In Nigeria specifically we have large programmes. “We work with local communities in agricultural productivities as well and in production infrastructure and in working with local organisations to strengthen organisational capacity to work together.
“We set up programmes with the government to support irrigation to increase production so that the small holder farmers can generate income and go to the market. “Micro finance programmes are also very important so that we provide cash to small holder farmers so that they can buy seeds and fertilisers and implements for their agricultural use’’. Stubbs declared that the IFAD’s programmes were only complementary to government projects.
“What we are doing is never going to be enough, there is never going to be known because at the end of the day, IFAD doesn’t have project. “It’s the government that are developing programmes, developing projects and the political decisions to really make things different.
“IFAD is there to support, IFAD is there to provide assistance, IFAD is there to accomplish development but at the end it is a national decision. “And that is why you see different results in different countries, depending on the decision that the countries made in their agreement.’’