The World Bank says it has earmarked 52 million U.S. dollars for the construction of over 300 rural roads in Plateau, under its Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).
Mr Tesfa Michael, the Head of RAAMP, said this yesterday in Jos, during an assessment visit, in the lead-up to the project implementation.
He said that the project was aimed at linking rural roads with major highways, with the view to reducing wastage of farm produce.
He said that the project was aimed at boosting agricultural activities in the rural areas, adding that the living standard of farmers in the state was also expected to improve significantly.
Besides, Michael said that the roads construction was part of the World Bank’s intervention to provide logistics for farmers in order to boost agricultural production and facilitate movement of farm produce.
“We are here today on an appraisal mission, the visit is to enable us see things for ourselves and ascertain the level of preparedness for the implementation of the project in the state.
“This project is basically designed to add value to the agricultural activities at the rural level, thereby increasing the income of rural farmers and the state as well.
“So, World Bank has set aside 52 million U.S. dollars to construct over 300 rural roads.
“This is because we believe that with access roads, farm produce can easily move from their points of production to markets.
“This system worked effectively in China and India and we believe it is achievable in Nigeria and Plateau State, which particularly has a lot of rural farmers,’’ he said.
Michael also said the project, when completed, would address the myriad challenges facing agricultural production, as modern means of produce storage, processing and recycling would be provided.
He said that the project would also aid efforts to create job opportunities and reduce youth restiveness in the state.
He therefore, urged the state government to pay up its counterpart funds to enable the project to begin on time.
Mr Matawal Maful, the Coordinator of RAAMP in Plateau, said that the state government had already directed the release of N55 million as counterpart funds for the project.
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