Tracereporters.com –Coordinators and leaders of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement And Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in Kano and Kaduna states have been challenged to ensure that the three focal areas of Food Security, Export Promotion and Livelihood Improvement of the project are achieved.

Task Team Leader of the APPEALS Project, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe gave the charge at the 4th Implementation Support Mission of the Project, which began at the Bafra Hotel, Kaduna on Wednesday December 11, 2019.

According to the Task Team Leader,  “We want to challenge the states and project coordinators to focus on achieving the three focal areas of Food Security, Export Promotion and Livelihood Improvement,” he charged.

He said they must work hard and deliver results that can be quantified. “We want to say this is how much the APPEALS project in Nigeria is contributing to the food basket,” he said.

Oredipe warned them that they would always keep an eye on them from the national office, in ensuring that they remained on track. “You know we will come as advance staff every six months to see what you are doing. “The mission is not to come to score you, but to support you and add value to your work.

He said, “I will expect the national office to work closely with the states to drive the components objective. “I will expect that whatever report I am getting from each department has been consented and accepted by the national counterparts.
If by any chance we pick up new issues in this mission, let’s find a way to solve it, it will be an opportunity to solve all the problems we come across within this two years. “We must show clearly what we have done to increase yield within the next two years. From the type of seeds, cultural practices adopted,” he advised.

The Task Team Leader stressed that they need to show how clearly they have improved farmers in both states.

According to him, “I am aware that we have a number of staff at the state offices. Any staff you are paying, make sure the person is fully engaged. If they are not busy, they will not be productive.

“Anytime you are coming on mission, you should have your facts, if you are here, you don’t know why you are here or what is right, you are not helping our joint cause.

“We must cultivate the habit of reading. There is nothing I am saying here, that is not in this document. If I want you to perform, I must ensure you understand and give you all the support you need to perform,” he explained.

He warned that in view of the importance of the task ahead, there would be no room for laziness, but work that must yield positive results.

“I want to assure you I will be demanding much from you, there will be no tolerance for laziness. This starts from reading and understanding this document.

“The World Bank is not only interested in the results but the process, I want you to pay attention to the process.

“I am sure we are aware we will be upgrading equipment in the states, we must ensure that after that, they don’t go back to the way they were abandoned,” he added.

In his opening remarks, National Project Coordinator, Dr. Amin M. Babandi, represented by National Procurement Specialist, Tijjani Kayode said that the three key points of the APPEALS Project , Food Security, Export Promotion and Livelihood Improvement will be achieved.

He said the 4th Implementation Support Mission is to review what has been done so far and forge the way forward.

“Women and Youth component of the project takes about $72m. By the time we get to the empowerment stage, the component one would have also attained a milestone,” he said.

In a goodwill message, Dr. Habiba Bello Tukur, Director Veterinary and Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture Kaduna State, said the response of the APPEALS project has been overwhelming.

“We hope this project will be able to address the issue of unemployment and food security in the state,” she added.

The 4th Implementation Support Mission is expected to last two days, Wednesday 11 and Thursday December 12, 2019.

It will feature state presentations from Kaduna and Kano states, which includes,review of report of each state, success stories, results monitoring and reporting, procurement/safe guard issues, progress on women and youth and update on FAO support to APPEALS.

Participants would also embark on courtesy calls and field trips, as well as prepare departmental work plan and budgets.

Lola Seriki-Idahosa

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