The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) has disclosed its plans to train and empower 4,025 people within Abia State in agri-businesses to enhance income, food security and job creation for rural youths and women in the country’s Niger Delta region.
Communicating on behalf of the organization’s national coordinator, Sanni Abiodun, its agribusiness promotion coordinator, Antonia Esenwa, made these plans known during a one-week residential business orientation training in Umuahia.
The empowerment of people through agricultural development programs is anticipated to reduce poverty and provide new opportunities and gainful employment.
A majority of rural people throughout Nigeria continue to face serious economic challenges, which have produced inordinate levels of poverty and vulnerability. These factors have, in turn, driven youths to seek employment in other sectors, the result being significant rural-urban migration.
“LIFE-ND targets the unemployed and under-employed youths aged 18-35 years and women-headed households with children under age 15 to be engaged in the production, processing, and marketing of rice, cassava, oil palm or poultry in their communities,” noted Esenwa.
“It is hoped that at the end of the first phase of this project, 4,025 Abians will have been empowered using incubation model for implementation.”
The training is being financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission. The first phrase of the project involves 150 people, who were selected from 25 communities in 10 of the state’s 17 local government areas.
LIFE-ND’s state coordinator, Uchenna Onyeizu, explained that after the training, participants will be connected with incubators to gain hands-on experience and training on best practices in the agro-business activity of their choice and, thereafter, learn start-up logistics.
The state agricultural development programme manager, Israel Amanze, lauded agriculture as now one of the most viable sectors to invest in.