Amid growing poverty and hunger, Nigeria’s South South State of Edo is partnering President Muhammad Buhari ‘s Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to teach young farmers how to live by the soil and boost economic growth.
The three institutions recently trained at least 4,250 youths and women on agribusiness to boost food security in the country.
It was a six-day programme during which Edo State’s Agribusiness Promotion Coordinator, Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project, Mrs. Anthonia Esenwa, hinted yqt the project was a manifestation of Federal Government’s vision for national food security in the Niger Delta region.
She noted that the vision agreed with Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki’s plan for the Accelerated Agricultural Development Programme to address unemployment and poverty among youths to improve the capacity of agripreneurs and to ensure food security in Edo State.
She explained that the pilot phase of the programme covered the training of 125 beneficiaries as incubates and 25 others as incubators that will be exposed to the theoretical part of entrepreneurship.
Esenwa noted, “Agriculture is no longer a pastime 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 added that the project, which was being implemented in nine states of the Niger Delta would operate across 10 local government areas, while beneficiaries would be selected in 10 communities in each of the councils.
“The selected commodities for Edo State are fishery, cassava, rice and poultry. It is hoped that at the end of first phase of the project, 4250 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.
The Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, said, “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 incubate to enable them to support themselves and have sustainable livelihood.”