The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project in Umuahia, Abia state on Friday held a pre-graduation meeting with 104 graduands (Beneficiaries) of the first batch of the agro training program.
According to the State Project Coordinator (SPC) Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, PhD, the event was to prepare the incubatees for the graduation day scheduled for the coming week and also to bring to fore all the skills and principles acquired during the agro training program.
Dr Onyeizu also added that “it was a gathering which helped to emphasize on the need for the beneficiaries to wear the business cap of getting involved in agriculture, especially in the various agro commodities they have chosen”.
Dr Onyeizu also noted that the beneficiaries still have their running capital with them to determine whether they want to continue in their agro trained business.
According to Dr Onyeizu, each beneficiary have been provided with cash of above a million worth of naira and believe that they will continue to grow in their businesses. He also added that nothing has changed in the project implementation plan but availability of funds may cause some delay in some cases. He also advised that if any beneficiary can provide land or structure instead of waiting for the project, they will be provided with input to speed up in their business.
In his words; “Since we have already trained them and provided working Capital, they can identify other support from supporting agencies or even their own close relatives that can help them put up structures which can help in doing their businesses.”
Ojimadu Chidera Joyce, a beneficiary from Umuokorodo, Umuahia South local government area of Abia State, trained in Oil Palm production and Processing expressed satisfaction haven reach the peak of the training which has earned her the knowledge of Oil Palm processing.
In her words; “LIFE-ND program has actually been impactful. I never knew much about Oil Palm processing like I know now. Now I know the best steps to take and best species of palm fruit to plant and process to get what ever am looking for. I learnt much from the capacity building trainings which I can boldly say that LIFE-ND program was very impactful in my life.”
Oluchi Okonkwo a physically challenged person, from Obingwa local government area of Abia State, also among the prospective graduands expressed delight being part of the beneficiaries.
“One of the basic trainings I got from LIFE-ND project is the training on business proposal which has helped me to know the direction my poultry farm will grow to and the best way to save and invest.” Oluchi said.
Friday Nwokoma Azubuike, another physically challenged person spotted and interviewed by our correspondent said he was trained in poultry production and gathered much knowledge from the training which will enable him comfortably manage his farm after graduating.
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 are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, The Federal Ministry of Finance, budget and National Planning and the United Nations.