The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project in Umuahia, Abia state, on Tuesday engaged the policy stakeholders of agriculture on support for extension service delivery in the ongoing LIFE-ND project in Abia state.
According to Abia LIFE-ND State Project Coordinator(SPC), Dr Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, he said the purpose of the event is to enact the agreement on the memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Abia Agricultural Development Program(ADP) which is also in practice with other nine Niger-Delta State where the project is still on course.
In his words: “The MOU is to bring them on board, so that they can be ready to support us in Agriculture extension service. So, at this stage we have called them again for an in-depth understanding to draw out a program for implantation.
“They are also to identify the key activities that we are to implement with their organization, looking at their area of expertise in agric extension services, for us, we are expecting them to support our direct beneficiaries across the communities to do what they are doing.
” We are going to brief them on the expectations from the incubation centres, the incubates and incubators. In knowing those expectation, it will help in where they can technically support our incubatees in what they are doing.”
“They are also going to help us in monitoring and evaluation but specifically in supportive supervision so that they can deliver on objectives.” Dr Onyeizu added.
Also in attendance was Dr Clement Uwem, the Rural Institution coordinator of LIFE-ND, he also hinted on the blue print of the project.
While addressing newsmen, Dr Uwem said “the purpose of the gathering is an extension of policy dialogue.”
In his words: “In LIFE-ND, we have several policy dialogues, we collaborate with institutions and the institutions are to provide some kind of support.
“In today’s dialogue, we are meeting with agricultural development experts of Abia State which is called Abia ADP. We will be guided in the area of extension services.”
The ADP resource persons were said to be zonal officers of community extension service providers.
The ADP resources persons were contacted because the LIFE-ND project cannot provide all experts needed in monitoring and evaluation, thus there was a need for engaging Abia ADP experts, Dr Onyeizu hinted.
Dr Uwem also added that modern agricultural activities is been threatened by climate change, thus, it requires experts to guide on the way forward.
“Technologies have been developed, methods of carrying out production which has to be sensitive to the environment requires the approach of persons with such reservoir of knowledge that can help beneficiaries who might be new entrance in agriculture to produce under a sustainable environment that is climate sensitive.” Dr Uwem added.
During the policy engagement event, It was revealed that the areas of collaboration is on gender sensitivity (women and youths), nutrition mainstreaming and climate change, all geared towards food security by the United Nations.
As observed by candidreporters.com, the ADP experts were shared into groups to tackle given areas of concern in other to come out with a workable format for Abia LIFE-ND implementation.
The LIFE-ND project is working in 100 communities and currently active in 50 communities.
Dr Onyeizu revealed that in the next two months, they will be going into 25 communities which will later sum up to be 75 active communities which will be powering between 300-400 incubatees.
The LIFE-ND Project is being funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD). The project is ongoing in the nine Niger-Delta States.
Also involved in the project is the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, The Federal Ministry of Finance, budget and National Planning, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the United Nations.