Abia LIFE-ND sensitises 2,000 farmers to enhance rural economy



By Leonard Okachie

The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise, Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) has begun a training orientation and sensitisation for no fewer than 2,000 farmers in Abia to enhance rural economy.

The National Project Coordinator, LIFE-ND, Dr Abiodun Sanni, who addressed participants at different orientation centres in Abia, said that the target was to generate 38,280 agric-enterpreneuers nationwide.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the LIFE-ND coordinator visited some of the orientation centres in 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs), including Umuahia South and Obingwa to speak to the trainees.

Sanni, represented by the National Administrative and Logistics Coordinator, LIFE-ND, Mrs Ngozi Ohaechesi, said that the participants were the fifth batch of beneficiaries to be selected after rigorous screening.

He explained that LIFE-ND was a Federal Government project financed with a loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development for the benefit of the citizens of the Niger Delta region.

The national coordinator said that the project was also in collaboration with the Niger Delta Development Commission designed for the nine Niger Delta states of Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Rivers.

According to him, the initiative is to encourage interest in youths between 18 and 35 years old, women-headed households and persons with disabilities in agribusiness.

”The specific objective is to enhance income, food security and job creation for rural youth and women through agric-enterprise development on a sustainable basis,” Sanni said.

Also, the State Project Coordinator, LIFE-ND, Dr Uchenna Onyeizu, said the orientation was to sensitise the ‘incubators'(trainers) and the ‘incubatees'(trainees) on the strategies being adopted to empower them.

He said that the project had already empowered over 2,500 beneficiaries out of the targeted 4,250 in 100 communities in the state.

Onyeizu said the project worked on the value chain of four priority commodities namely rice, cassava, oil palm processing and poultry.

“After this orientation cum sensitisation, the trainees will go to the farm centres to be trained on a particular agribusiness they have chosen,” he said.

Also, the state Agribusiness Promotion Officer, Mr Godwin Chukwuekezie, said that the training was holding in 10 local government areas where the project was currently intervening.

He said that 250 of the 2,000 beneficiaries would participate in a short term training that would last between two weeks and one month, while the remaining 1,750 would be given long term training for three months.

Chukwuekezie said the aim was for the trainees to understand the incubation model and enterprises that they would feature in at various incubation centres.

One of the participants, Miss Happiness John at Obingwa Local Government Area orientation centre, a palm oil processor, expressed gratitude to LIFE-ND for the opportunity.

John said the trainers taught participants the project’s incubation model, nutrition mainstreaming, environmental and climate change, financial inclusion and bank opening as well as record keeping.(NAN)