The Edo State Government in partnership with the Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has embarked on a six-day training program in agribusiness for over 4,250 youths and women in the state.
The programme is in line with the Federal Government’s vision for national food security in the Niger Delta region, Agribusiness Promotion Coordinator of Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project, Mrs. Anthonia Esenwa said.
In her remarks, the coordinator noted that the project aligns with the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s plan for the Accelerated Agricultural Development Programme to improve the capacity of agri-entrepreneurs and address unemployment in the state.
Esenwa disclosed that the pilot phase of the programme covers the training of 125 beneficiaries as incubates and 25 others as incubators that will be exposed to the theoretical part of entrepreneurship.
According to her, “Agriculture is no longer a pastime activity but a business, which the federal government, through the agricultural transformation agenda is promoting as an alternative source of foreign exchange earnings as revenue from crude oil is dwindling.”
She further stated that the project, which is being implemented in nine states of the Niger Delta will operate across 10 Local Government areas, while beneficiaries will be selected in 10 communities in each of the LGAs.
Esenwa said that the selected commodities for Edo state were fishery, cassava, rice and poultry. She expressed hope that at the end of the first phase of the project, 4,250 indigenes of Edo state will be empowered.
“The LIFE-ND is aimed at enhancing the income, food security and job creation for youths and women in rural areas of the Niger Delta,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, said the project targets women and youths, to enable them support themselves.
“The project is geared towards supporting women and youths in agricultural enterprises. The ongoing training will strengthen incubators with strong agric enterprises so that they can take in incubates to enable them to support themselves and have a sustainable livelihood,” he said.
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