Not less than 1,033 incubatees in various agribusinesses have so far been trained in Edo State since the initiative came on board in 2020 by Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) project.
The project’s Coordinator in Edo, Jude Ekpu, disclosed this at an engagement with media stakeholders in Benin City.
He said the project was conceived to address poverty, boost food security and create jobs for youths and women in rural communities through agribusiness development on a sustainable basis.
Ekpu, represented by Benedict Akhamie, communication officer of LIFE-ND in the state, said 4,250 people were targeted in Edo but that 1,033 had so far been trained.
He noted that 116 trainers were engaged to train the beneficiaries on four priority commodities: cassava, rice, poultry and fishery.
He said the project adopted an incubation model of training wherein youths and women learnt under the tutelage of experienced agribusiness owners.
He disclosed that capacities of the participants were developed on record and book-keeping, agricultural entrepreneurship, agricultural enterprise development, food and nutrition, environment and climate change.
He explained that the project was designed by the federal government, IFAD and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to be implemented over a period of 12 years with a financing gap of six years in the first instance and an additional six years to be financed by other partners or an additional IFAD loan.
He further said, “The goal of the LIFE-ND project is the transformation of the rural economy in which all the rural population can derive prosperity and equal benefits. The project has as its development objective to enhance income, food security and job creation for rural youths, women and the vulnerable through agribusiness development.
“The project is implemented in 10 LGAs per state and 10 communities in each LGA, giving a total of 100 communities in Edo State alone where the LGAs participating are Akoko Edo, Esan North-East, Esan South-West, Esan West, Etsako Central, Ikpoba Okha, Orhionmwon, Ovia North-East, Owan West and Uhunmwonde.”