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Lagos APPEALS targets over 1,600 agro entrepreneurs

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The Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project have commenced the process of raising over 1,600 Agro Entrepreneurs within the next two years, through its Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) scheme.

To achieve this, a two-week intensive residency-training programme was flagged off last week and holding simultaneously in Lagos and Ogun States for beneficiaries of different value chains.

The APPEALS project, implemented through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in six participating states of Cross River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi and Lagos, is a six-year project expected to run between 2017 and 2023.

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It is in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (The Green Alternative) of the Federal Government, aimed at building on the legacy of the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and plans to support policy thrust on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification.

While speaking during the opening ceremony, at the Araga Training Institute, Epe, Lagos, the State Project Coordinator, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, said the project was one of the strategies highlighted by wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, during the 19th National Women’s Conference, as part of government’s plan to implement THEMES agenda through women empowerment and job creation.

Sagoe-Oviebo said the empowerment programme comprises the provision of Technical Assistance and capacity building in enterprise development, agribusiness training in the chosen value chain of interest, noting that the capacity building will be followed up with grants to finance sub-projects and mentorship for start-up or consolidation of existing women and youth-led businesses as individuals or group beneficiaries.

She said: “The WYEP is designed for the unemployed and under-employed women and youths with the aim of facilitating income generation and improved livelihood of the beneficiaries.

“A total of 1,620 beneficiaries, with the inclusion of 10 per cent of People With Disabilities (PWD) will benefit under this scheme. The number was selected from over 7,000 people who expressed interest during the competitive selection process.”

Breaking down modalities for the training, the state project coordinator said beneficiaries have been divided into batches for efficiency and optimum utilisation and best value from the training institutes based on their capacity and facilities.

A total of 350 beneficiaries were randomly selected to kick-start the two weeks training programme in two Institutes-Araga Training Institute in Epe, where Poultry and Rice value chains beneficiaries will be trained and Aquatic hub in Asero, Abeokuta is training Aquaculture beneficiaries.

Sagoe-Oviebo implored the beneficiaries to open up their minds to the training and make the best use of the opportunities provided. 

The basic strategy of APPEALS project is to increase productivity, production and improve processing and marketing of the targeted value chains, which are expected to foster job creation along the value chains.

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