Olam, IFAD Boost Nigeria’s Economy With N3bn

July 24, 2020
Olam Nigeria

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Nigerian economy has received a boost of over N3 billion from the partnership between Olam Nigeria, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the federal government of Nigeria on the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).

The programme was launched in 2014 with the aim of generating wealth for smallholder farmers, thereby improving their livelihoods, while also enhancing food security in the country.

The VCDP provides inputs and training to smallholder rice farmers with guaranteed buy back of between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the rice paddy produced by the farmers at competitive market prices while the rest of the rice paddy is reserved by the small holder farmers for personal consumption.

Since inception, Olam has purchased rice paddy worth N3 billion from smallholder farmers in Benue. The company also has rice outgrower initiative programmes apart from its IFAD VCDP partnership where, it has engaged a total of 14,868 smallholder farmers.

To kick off the planting season and onboard new farmers to the initiative grants worth over N107 million was presented to 2,917 farmers in Benue State, in the form of inputs as palliatives to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on them.

According to the Country Representative of IFAD, Ms Nadine Gbossa, the registered smallholder farmers under the VCDP programme have experienced a 79 per cent increase in their income.

“Before the IFAD OLAM VCDP partnership, many of the smallholder farmers were involved in subsistence farming. However, they are now able to market their produce because a firm like,” she said.

The IFAD Nigeria Country Representative further stated that the project has a budget of $329 million, adding that IFAD is financing about $250 million while the federal government of Nigeria and enterprises like Olam finance the difference.

Also commenting, the Vice President of Farming Initiatives at Olam Nigeria, Mr Reji George, stated that a distinguishing factor of the Olam IFAD VCDP initiative is the decentralized model in terms of the mobilization, registration and engagement with the smallholder farmers.

“About 50 per cent of the total capacity of Olam’s rice mill in Rukubi, Nasarawa State, is gotten through the direct buy back from these programmes from different states.

“We expect a higher scope this year because while we had 9,757 farmers in 2019, we have doubled the number of registered farmers this year, which is about 18,646 registered farmers,” he said.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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