The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project in Umuahia, Abia state on Wednesday began a 3-Day Refresher Course for incubatees on business plan, development and record keeping in the ongoing agro project initiative.
The event, tagged, LIFE-ND Capacity Training(Business Development, Orientation Training Program) had Incubatees (trainees) of the project who attended in their numbers as the consultants were also on ground doing justice to the training process in stages.
In an interview with the State Project Coordinator (SPC) Dr Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, candidreporters.com gathered that the refresher course is for the third batch of the incubatees that have been scheduled to be giving working capital to begin their agro businesses.
In the exact words of Dr Onyeizu: “this third batch just began a refresher training course in Agric Business Development, where we put them into the rudiments of how to manage any working capital that have been provided for them.
“They are taught how to be prudent with it so that at the end of the day, they can make Maximum profit from it.”
As a sole purpose of the training,Dr Onyeizu advised the incubatees to “be careful with their output display and record keeping.”
Dr Onyeizu, also added that “the first and second batch of the project’s incubatees are about entering their second business circle and over a million naira have been provided for them.”
Giving more insight about the beneficiaries, Dr Onyeizu added that “these are young persons from the community where we work, they have graduated from apprenticeship to mentorship period at the stage of our incubation period.”
It was also noted that after the three days training, the incubatees will be provided with input to work with, such as A-day old chicks, feeds, medication and insurance till the point of sale, that is, for those into poultry sector of the project.
The input given to the incubatees is said to be a very soft loan, as Dr Onyeizu noted that “any serious minded incubatee will make profit from it and also be able to repay at a very long space.”
The Agro Business Promotion Coordinator for Abia LIFE-ND Mrs Antonia Ezenwa also added that the training will help the incubatees to plan very well before they start their agro business.
“The record keeping is very essential to the incubatees, if they don’t keep proper record, they will not know when they are making losses and when to fill a gap. Part of what we are doing is financial inclusion, we intend to link them to financial institution that will give them soft loan for expansion. We are helping them to first have a grip on the business and latter source for fund outside to expand.” Mrs Ezenwa said.
Mrs Ezenwa however advised the incubatees to be very serious with the training in other to benefit maximally.
Mr Chukwuekezie Godwin, the Agric Business Promotion Officer for Abia LIFE-ND added that the incubatees have been expecting this day to come, judging from their enthusiasm displayed.
Mr Chukwuekezie, also certified the ability of the resource persons on ground for the training.
“They are on ground to bring them into the business of agriculture so that they can have an insight on the input for them to be able to speak for the possibility of the business.”
The Abia LIFE-ND consultant under Agric Business Promotion, Mr Joshua Chinemerem Chibueze added that incubatees have been having issues in recording and it is been given critically attention in the training.
Emphasis was also made on the need for insurance and the process of business plan development.
“The training is just to make them fit and ready to absorb and do the needful” Mr Joshua added.
A participant (incubatee) of the training, Igwe Lawrence, while speaking with candidreporters.com expressed joy of been part of the training.
He said: “Formally we did a lot of theory but now, it is more of practical. We are seeing the theory practically now, unlike before, if you mention a poultry pen to me, I will ask you what is a poultry pen, but now I can tell you that it is about a poultry house were birds are kept.”
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, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the United Nations.