Mr Ularamu Ubandoma, the National Coordinator, Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) has said 18 more states across the country will benefit from $500 million World Bank assisted project under the Rural Access and agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP3).
According to him, “the selected states were able to meet the criteria set up by RAMP and our three development partners, form their selection.”
He added that $50 to $60 million would be used to construct about 500 kilometers of roads in each of these 18 participating states across the country.
“The whole essence of the project sponsored by the World Bank, French Development Bank and Africa Bank is to provide suitable roads network for rural farmers to convey their farm produce to the market to avoid losses.
“In the North East, we have Borno, Bauchi and Taraba. In North Central, we have Plateau, Benue, Kogi and Kwara. In North West, we have Kano, Kastina, Sokoto and Kebbi.
“In South East we have Abia and Anambra. South South, we have Cross River and Akwa Ibom. In South West, we have Ogun, Oyo and Ondo States. These are states that emergence from the six geo-political zones.
“The new RAAMP3 will be a little different from the usual RAMP1 and 2, which we implemented projects in seven states and these project are almost 100 per cent conclusion.
“The only different is that we are targeting RAAMP3 in line with President Buhari’s policy on agricultural transformation.
“The policy is implemented through the Green Agricultural Alternative under the leadership of the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
“The thinking now is zero reject of our agricultural produce at the international markets, “ he said.
According to him, RAAMP3 was to improve rural access and agricultural marketing in the selected participating states, whilst enhancing sustainability of the rural and state road network.”We are going to target market and the value chains, that is by adding value to our agricultural produce right from production level. We will be looking at storage, processes.
“We want to know how these produce can access different level of markets. We are trying to shift away from the usual market not considering the rural people.
“We are now considering the rural people because they form the bulk of our production level and they are predominantly farmers living in the rural areas.
“We believe if we develop the rural farmers through the provision of markets, definitely the economy will improve and we will be earning foreign exchange through exportation, “ he added.
Ubandoma, however appealed to State Governors to show some level of seriousness in paying their counterpart fund which is just 8 per cent of the total cost of the project in their states.
Mr Tesfamichael Nahusenay, the World Bank Task Team Leader said from the result of study conducted in Nigeria, 60 per cent of farm produce got wasted during transportation and lack of storage facilities.
He said that World Bank hope to add value to farmer’s income by getting them access to market after harvest, proper handily of farm produce after harvest and provide storage facilities to them.
“World Bank has be providing assistance to Nigeria government for many years and we have standard for procedure in execution of any project in the country.
“The Federal Government will receive the fund and they lend to states. We have mechanism by process the procurement process to ensure that value for money is achieved and transparency in transaction.
“At the end of the day, money intended for any project are meant. We do direct checking of the projects across all the states. The states bring back the money if they cannot achieve the set project.
“We do field visit to ensure that the roads or marketing are deliver in appropriate time and ensure standard, “ he said.
RAMP is a Federal Government agency saddled with the responsibility of constructing rural roads to help farmers to access market to avoid post harvest loss.