The Fadama III Additional Funding in Plateau state has empowered 339 farmers with over N55 million to boost dry season tomato production in the state.

The project coordinator Mr. Gideon Dandam disclosed this on Monday at a one-day capacity building for tomato production clusters in Mangu.

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He said the N55 million is used to support tomato farmers from Mangu Local Government Area alone.

In his words, “As we all know, this project is being funded by the World Bank. And for this dry season alone, the project have assigned N55 million to support farmers in Mangu.

“This intervention will cover the provision of farming inputs to farmers, such as water pumps, sprayer, wheelbarrow and others.”

The coordinator said the training was aimed at building the capacity of the benefiting farmers toward boosting tomato production.

Plateau, a major producer

Dandam said the project was aimed at making Plateau one of the major tomatoes producers in the country.

He added that the training would also equip farmers with the necessary skills and technicalities to achieve the vision.

He said, “We are determined to make Plateau the centre of tomato production in Nigeria.

“We all know that agriculture is now business and we need to encourage our farmers to venture into it so as to boost food production and generate income for the state and themselves.”

The coordinator commended Governor Simon Lalong for the prompt payment of counterpart funds for 2014 and 2015.

Declaring the training open, Mrs Linda Barau, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, commended the effort of Fadama III AF for ensuring the project was sustained.

She said, “This project had since went into comatose in some states. But because of our commitment as a government and the resilience of those manning it, ours is not only vibrant, but effectively working.”

She further assured of the state government’s support to boost agricultural activities and make Plateau the food basket of the nation.