The World Bank, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other partners, is set to empower 5,000 farmers in Cross River State.
The communications director of the program, Mr. Ogisi Excel, made this known during a one-day workshop held by FAO and implementing partners in Calabar.
“Of the 5,000 farmers set to benefit, 50% are women and youths,” he stated. “They will be granted land titles instead of Certificates of Occupancy, facilitating access to funds from entities such as CBN, Bank of Agriculture, and other creditors who are all informed about these projects.”
Excel explained that the project, aimed at enhancing cocoa production and oil palm cultivation in the state, will receive funding from the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which is an official partner of the FAO in Nigeria.
“These projects are funded by the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility. The project fund is $5 million from the World Bank, but we expect the total financial involvement to reach $50 million due to co-financing,” he explained.
He further noted that the funds would be distributed directly to the beneficiaries, without the involvement of middlemen.
In his statement, the national project coordinator, Prof. Oladapo Adeyemi, underscored the project’s goal of enhancing cocoa and oil palm production systems to achieve sustainability, resilience, as well as environmental and social benefits.