Government to empower 1200 households on wealth creation
About 1,200 farmers will be empowered in Enugu State under the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE) of the Federal Government.An Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Chinyere Ikechukwu-Eneh disclosed this in Enugu recently during an advocacy visit to the state ministry of agriculture.
Ikechukwu-Eneh, the Team Leader for the LIFE programme, said that the programme was the latest of job and wealth creation initiative of the Minister, Chief Audu Ogbe.She explained that the project was designed to reach approximately three million women and youths nationwide through agro-business and it value chains.She said that 24 states of the federation would be captured in the pilot phase of the programme, adding that beneficiaries would be between the ages of 18 and 40.
“The overall objective of this programme is to contribute to the attainment of food security and economic growth of Nigeria through job creation, value addition and business enterprises and improved livelihood.“Beneficiaries shall consist largely of young people selected across several agriculture disciplines in a gender-balanced manner with a minimum of 50 per cent women,” she said.
Ikechukwu-Eneh said that the LIFE programme would be implemented at the ward levels through the establishment of ‘LIFE Clusters’ through which group members would be supported.She said that the support would include access to affordable agricultural inputs for sustainable production, agro-processing and packaging with a robust marketing system designed to connect rural food surplus to urban cities.
She said that the programme would feature two communities drawn from each of two local government areas from the three senatorial districts.She said that each of the participating communities would form five corporative societies that would finally be selected for empowerment in their chosen areas of enterprise.
Ikechukwu-Eneh appealed to the people of the area to make good use of the programme to develop their capacities.“This programme will address the needs of existing corporative groups that will be encouraged to own enterprises that will help their communities.“The minister has also requested that the states identify available rivers, streams and dams for utilization going forward,” Ikechukwu-Eneh said.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Samuel Onyiaji described the programme as a bold initiative by the Federal Government.Onyiaji, however, said that the prospective beneficiaries needed to be given available information concerning the programme in order to compare notes.
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