The Abia State Project Coordinating Office of the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises for Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) has trained no fewer than 1,000 youths and women in agro-enterprises.
The beneficiaries, otherwise referred to as “incubates”, had their two-day training cum working session in 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state. The training started on April 19, 2023.
The trainees, comprising youths between 18 and 35 years and women-headed households, were the new batch of beneficiaries brought on board for the project.
They were trained by the resource persons on different topics including business plan development, record keeping, nutrition and climate change mainstreaming activities, amongst others.
The LIFE-ND State Project Coordinator, Dr Uchenna Onyeizu, while interacting with newsmen, described the programme as working session and an orientation with the newly selected beneficiaries.
According to him, the essence is to bring the beneficiaries up to page on what the project is about, as well as tell them what to do to benefit maximally from it.
Onyeizu said that the beneficiaries would, after the training, be taken to their various incubation centres, where their skills and knowledge would be built on their chosen agric enterprises.
He said: “We already have 1,625 and once these 1,000 come on board, we now have an average of 2,625 ‘incubatees’ across the 100 communities in 10 council areas that we are working on.
“We will at the end of the day, provide the inputs to these new beneficiaries where they will now become empowered to begin the process of doing their individual agribusinesses.”
Mr Godwin Chukwuekezie, the LIFE-ND State Agric Business Promotion Officer, said that the training was the incubation process for the beneficiaries.
Chukwuekezie, who was the Head of the team at the Umuahia South Local Government training centre, said that the participants were the 4th batch to benefit from the project.
According to him, it is time we sensitise them on the activities of LIFE-ND and what they stand to gain.
Also, Mr Anthony Nwaobilor, the project’s Rural Institution, Youth and Gender Officer, said that the beneficiaries’ capacity would be built on four agro commodities that the project was working on.
Nwaobilor, who was the team leader at Ukwa West training centre, said that the commodities included poultry, oil palm, rice and cassava production.
The National Project Coordinator, Mr Abiodun Sanni, who was represented by his Technical Assistant, Mr Bunmi Ogunleye, expressed satisfaction with the exercise, especially with the youth and women participation.
He urged the beneficiaries to ensure that they put all they had been taught into practice once they got to their various incubation centres.
A participant, Miss Lois Nwamuo, at Osisioma Local Government training centre, said she intended to specialise in egg marketing and thanked the organisers for the life-giving opportunity.
LIFE-ND is being funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in collaboration with the Federal Government and Niger Delta Development Commission as well as the state government.
The project, which is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for national food security, is for implementation in the nine Niger Delta states.
By Leonard Okachie