The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has charged states in the Federation to partner with it and NDDC to grow cassava and rice in a large scale as part of measures to check unemployment and food crisis in the country.
The Country Programme Manager of the organization, Abdul Wahab who gave the charge when he paid Delta state governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan a courtesy visit in Asaba, said the agricultural programme was a new initiative carefully designed to boost the production of rice and cassava in the country.
He said NDDC states and local governments were expected to contribute towards the execution of the programme not only to ensure massive participation but to hit the target envisaged.
The programme manager however said that it was only states and local governments already doing well in other programmes of the organization and paying their counterpart fund that would be allowed to participate in the new programme.
He therefore called on states in the Federation to pay their counterpart fund to enable them qualify for the new programme.
The Country Manager called on communities in states benefiting from IFAD programmes to be resourceful and ready for more responsibilities as the selection of location would fall on them.
In his remarks the state governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan called on IFAD not to force its programmes on states.
Dr Uduaghan enjoined IFAD to allow states to have the benefit of choice instead of making it mandatory for states to participate.
He explained that each state has its programmes and scale of preferences and has the right to enter or refrain from any relationship or partnership.
The governor who said his administration would participate only in IFAD programme based on its relevance to the people promised to assess the present programme and take action.
Explaining further he said “This is supposed to be a partnership and you cannot force us into it. We should discuss the relationship and based on the anticipated benefits, participate in such programmes”.
He disclosed that his administration created the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation to improve the living standard of Deltans and empower the less privileged.
The governor who promised to ensure that the counterpart funds on other programmes for 2010 and 2011 were paid said, “We are serious on counterpart fund on other programmes and we are going to pay. We are already benefiting and we believe that it is imparting on our people positively”.