Not fewer than 920 people have been enlisted to receive training and empowerment on cassava, cocoa, fishery, and poultry production and management in Ondo State as part of measures to ensure poverty reduction.
The project is an initiative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises in Niger Delta (IFAD/Life-ND) project, supported by the IFAD, and is intended to address food insecurity, create jobs, and strengthen Nigeria’s economy.
Mr. Ademola Olawale, the state project coordinator, explained the project’s goals during a media roundtable meeting that was held in Akure, the capital of the state, over the weekend. He emphasised that the project targets youths (18-35 years old) and women (from women head-households with children under 15 years old) as apprentices who will emerge from the incubation system with their own successful business.
According to him, the initiative covers 10 LGAs in the state, each with 10 communities that were chosen in cooperation with the relevant authorities based on “specified” criteria.
Ademola, represented by the state Rural Institution Gender Youth Officer, Mrs. Ajibade Bolanle, said: “It is being implemented in the nine Niger-Delta states, and became officially effective on February 21, 2019. The Federal Government of Nigeria has partnered the IFAD to finance the implementation of the project. Ondo State was prioritised based on the previous outstanding performance in the defunct IFAD – funded Community Based Natural Resource Management Programme (CBNRMP).
“The project overall goal is to realise transformed rural economy in which the rural population can derive prosperity and equal benefits while the project development objective is to enhance income, food security and job creation for rural youths and women through agro-enterprise development on a sustainable basis in the Niger Delta region.
“The federal government/IFAD/LIFE-ND is a project that directly supports the Nigeria’s agricultural policy and the strategic framework for youth employment and job creation. We are supporting and empowering the youths in the area of agribusinesses, cocoa production, cassava, poultry and fish. We don’t just stop at production, it cuts across all the value chains that are existing within each commodity or enterprise.”