The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project, in Umuahia, Abia state, on Monday had an open disbursement of financial cheque to graduating incubatees (trainees)of the first batch of the Agro empowerment program ongoing in the state.
The agro training scheme is powered empowered by Federal Government, IFAD and NDDC with the State Government’s payment of its counterpart fund.
The disbursement of cash was the peak of the agro training initiative of the project stakeholders.
According to the beneficiaries who expressed excitement during the event, in summary said initially it was concluded to be one of those government’s project that never sees the light of the day but they just decided to give it a try.
According to one of the beneficiaries, Hope Emmanuel from Obingwa local government area of Abia State, who was trained in cassava processing expressed her joy after collecting her cheque.
In her words: “I was into peasant farming before I saw the publication, so I decided to give it a try since it’s going to be in a bigger form. I applied and after the application, we went for a training, I was moved by the quality of facilitators they gathered and tutorial they gave, I was marveled to know that agriculture has gotten to this extent, and that gave me more encouragement to continue and see what comes out in the end.”
Hope Emmanuel also encouraged other youths not to totally depend on white collar jobs, rather explore the opportunities abundantly available in agriculture.
“Agriculture can also make you become somebody in the future not just through white collar jobs alone. It will always keep food on your table and make you known.
“Our facilitators have big farms and today they are big in agro businesses, that’s why they were contacted to train us.” Hope added.
Another beneficiary also hinted that they were mocked for participating in the LIFE-ND agro training.
His words: “We were mocked! but our heart is full of joy, I lack words to express how I feel today, I want to thank IFAD, LIFE-ND and also the state governor for making it possible to achieve this.” He said.
The State Project Coordinator, (SPC) Dr Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu expressed joy having been opportune to accomplish his first badge task of having successful incubatees reach the peak of the program.
In his words: “Am the most excited individual here today and today is a reality.
“I want to emphasize that this money must be used judiciously. Co-incidentally we have set up a system that will ensure that yourself, the incubators and state project coordinators office partake in the management of this money.
“It’s not as if you just rush to the bank, make withdrawal and put the money in your pocket and we will start running after you. They money is to provide input as a working capital.Dr Uchenna advised.
The peak of the event was handing over of cheque to the beneficiaries who received it from agriculture stakeholders and representatives of the federal government that graced the event.
As monitored by candidreporters.com, the LIFE-ND agro training program from onset was planned to train participants in business training and management in other to equip them with basic entrepreneurship knowledge and skills. Upon the completion of the training, the incubatees will be attached to incubators(trainers) to get firsthand experience and training on the best practices in the agro-business activity of his/her choice.
The participants in their large number including the physically challenged persons were in high spirit during the commencement of the training and same expressed at the disbursement of cheque.
It was also noted that the boost the project is getting is as a result of the promptness to pay counterpart fund to the federal government
by governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.