Rice farmers in Kogi State that benefited from the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) said the adoption of improved farming practices and other support facilitated by project has increased their rice yield by 60 per cent.
The farmers, who disclosed this during the documentation of the implementation of the Value Chain Investment Plan (VCIPs), led by the state project coordinator, Dr. Sanni Abdullahi Ozomata, said the support, such as the provision of improved rice seedlings and exposure to best farming practices, is responsible for the bumper harvest. 
A farmer under the Ojodomo Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Ibaji Local Council, Mr. Atama Akpagi, who commended the project coordinator, said the transplanting methods have made so much difference in their harvest this year, compared to the previous years.
He said: “Before the intervention of the APPEALS project, we usually harvest 100 bags of 100kg but with the support, we harvested 150 bags. While in our group of 10 members, our previous year’s harvest was 400 bags of 110kg, we later harvested 550 bags of 100kg.” 

A total of 342 rice farmers from 27 Commodity Interest Groups (CIGS), covering 782 hectares located in Ibaji, Idah and Yagba West council areas were supported with relevant inputs and training for the year 2021 wet farming season. 
A rice farmer in Echa Ejeba Cluster, Idah council area, Mr. David Ojoba, said: “Before the APPEALS project, what I usually produce is low, but now I have been able to produce more rice paddy than before.
“The rice I produce this year is richer than the previous year because the APPEALS Project support has lifted my production.”

Normally, before the intervention, I produce about 20-25 bags, but now I have been able to produce 40 bags, which is very encouraging. The Kogi APPEALS gave us training on how to manage the input they provided, how to use and apply the chemicals and fertilizers. I thank Kogi APPEALS for all their support.”
Another rice farmer at Omi Village in Yagaba West council area, Mr. Kayode Ola, who said he was initially skeptical about the genuine nature of the project, based on past experiences, said he decided to give APPEALS project a trial and now he hasn’t regretted the move.    
He expressed his joy on the project because of the support given to rice farmers at Omi village. He said he has been struggling with his rice farm over the years because of financial constraint to farm on a large scale, adding that with the support, he has used the proceeds from sales of the produce to further sponsor his children in school and improve his livelihood.