February 12, (THEWILL) – About five thousand farmers in Cross River State are expected to benefit from the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO, intervention in Cocoa and oil palm cultivation.
The project is also in partnership with other supporting partners, who have collectively earmarked $50 million to boost cocoa production and palm fruit cultivation in Cross River State.
It comes under the Global Environment Facility, GEF, which will be executed in three years.
The Knowledge Management and Communications Officer of the programme, Mr Ogisi Excel, disclosed this in Calabar when FAO, in conjunction with implementing partners, held a one-day workshop.
The workshop was aimed at announcing the commencement of activities to actualise the projects, which have four major components.
According to him, “5,000 farmers in Cross River are to benefit from the projects, 50% of them women and youths.
“Two states in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria were selected for these projects due to the density of their tropical forests, landscapes and valuable ecosystems.
“These projects are funded by the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility. But in Nigeria, the FAO are official partner of GEF, which is executing the projects of regenerating cocoa plantations and palm fruits, as well as creating alternative livelihoods and agricultural programmes for forest communities in the selected LGAs.
“Project fund is $5 million from the World Bank but we expect accumulated financial involvement to go up to $50 million because of co-financing”, he said.
Excel added further that the funds would be directly disbursed to the beneficiaries, not middlemen and that eight local government areas in the state are to be impacted by the two agricultural projects.
On his part, the national project coordinator, Prof Oladapo Adeyemi, said that the objective of the project is to transform the cocoa and oil palm production systems and landscapes towards sustainability and resilience, delivering multiple environmental and social benefits.
About the Author
THEWILL Correspondent, Aniekan Bassey has over six years experience that spans across several fields in print journalism including development communication, sexual reproductive and health rights issues, crime, climate change, social justice, business and human interest stories.