Stakeholders commends WAAPP on projects

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• As Nobex Tech, a beneficiary invents a multi-purpose drying machine

THE World Bank supervision ‎team, led by Mr Shehu Salau recently commended the implementation of West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) in Nigeria alongside Dr Gbola Akande, the Executive Director, Federal Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (FIOMR) during the 9th Supervision Mission of WAAPP in Ibadan.

Salau who told journalists that the project was being implemented accordingly, noted that the implementers had done better than expected in some areas. He added that he is very pleased with the great result so far despite the little money spent; because the funding for

WAAPP is very small when compared to other World Bank or donor supported projects.
The World Bank Team leader noted that WAAPP have worked within the agreement signed and overall, it is excellent, stressing that the implementing institutions have done very well and some of them have even gone beyond the call of duty.

WAAPP, a World Bank sponsored programme in the auspices of ECOWAS aimed at boosting agricultural productivity and enhancing diplomatic ties in the sub region visited projects sites in Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi, Federal Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research and Nobex Tech Company, all in Lagos State.

The team also visited the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Institute for Agricultural Research and Training and the Department of Fisheries and Aqua Culture Management, University of Ibadan in Oyo State.

Salau explained that WAAPP was designed to be implemented over two phases, saying that the second phase was dependent on the successes of the first phase and willingness of the host country to participate in the second, adding that Nigeria should be going into the second phase based on the performance of the first phase but the government had to apply for either additional financing or indicate interest to participate in the second phase.

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‎The International Economic Relations, Federal Ministry of Finance, Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Ibrahim Matazu in his remarks said that the assessment of the project reflected prudent implementation, pointing out that the Federal Ministry of Finance, being the borrower of the funds, was satisfied with the implementation so far.

Matazu disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Finance as a matter of fact, have requested for the implementation of the programme for another six months, as they are waiting for the bank to respond before the decision on the additional financing or the second phase is made.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Deputy Director, Rural Development, Mr Michael Brooks, expressed the hope that the Nigerian Government would benefit from the second phase of the WAAPP programme, emphasizing that it was necessary because of the successes recorded in the first phase which would come to an end in June.

Brooks who said that apart from success, the impact of the programme had been very positive on the beneficiaries, especially the rural people, summarized in a nutshell that the implementation of WAAPP is very commendable and as such, Nigeria stands to get more if we progress into the second phase for the benefit of the rural people.

While, the Federal Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (FIOMR), Executive Director, Dr Gbola Akande, ascertained that the institute had benefitted from the programme, also noted that WAAPP has kept the institute running in the last two years since it has not received capital project allocation form the Federal Government.

Akande disclosed that WAAPP gave FIOMR four Toyota Hilux vans and one Toyota Camry aside winning part of the WAAPP `Competitive Grant’, adding that some members of staff of the institute have gone for further studies, courtesy of WAAPP. He further revealed that the institute was collaborating with WAAPP ‎on fingerlings and fish feed production as well as post-harvest technology development.

In the same vein, the Director-General, Federal Institute for Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, Dr Gloria Elemo, said that her institute was collaborating with WAAPP on the training of entrepreneurs, production of rice milk and fruit preservation.

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Elemo who disclosed that WAAPP had provided funds for the projects, which had reached 90 per cent completion, appealed that the trainees should be assisted to acquire equipment ‎to enable them put their knowledge into practice.

The Mission Team Leader and World Bank Representative, Mr Shehu Salau, responding to various comments by the Stakeholders, expressed‎ confidence that the research institutes would deliver on their mandate, adding that the bank was interested in seeing that the trainees add value to what they produce with indigenous technology.

The Managing Director of Nobex Tech. Company, a beneficiary of WAAPP, Mr Idowu Adeoja disclosed to the 9th WAAPP Supervision ‎Mission team that his company has invented a multi-purpose drying machine to curb post-harvest losses in the country.

Adeoja further disclosed that the dryer could dry 400kg of fruits, vegetables or cereals in 22 hours adding that the dryer could effectively dry and retain nutrients and taste of tomato,‎ banana, pineapple, mango, cashew, smoke fish, ‘kilishi’, cereals among others.

The Nobex Tech. Managing Director explained that the dryer, which comes in different sizes, making it affordable for ‎food, could be powered by kerosene, diesel or electricity, stressing that the finished product from the machine could be further processed into poundo-yam, ‘fufu’, garri among others.

He further disclosed to gathering that food processing companies in countries like Gambia, Cote d’ Voire, Uganda, Mali, Ghana, Senegal‎ and Portugal had approached the company and have acquired the machine, noting that the idea of drying fruits was a product of a WAAPP sponsored training in Burkina Faso, describing the collaboration with the programme was as an ‘eye opener’.

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