The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Federal Government have applauded the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises, Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) in Abia for its successes in agribusiness.
They gave the commendation on Thursday during a two-day third joint supervisor mission to the state project coordinating office.
The delegation expressed their satisfaction with the performance of LIFE-ND, saying that the state had raised the bar in agricultural entrepreneurship, especially for the youths and women.
Also in the team were IFAD officials from its headquarters in Rome as well as East Africa.
Others were officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Agriculture, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), consultants as well as national project coordinating office of LIFE-ND.
They visited different incubation centres where they interacted with the beneficiaries on the beneficiaries’ success stories and their challenges.
The beneficiaries, including Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), were engaged in selected commodities’ value chain of rice, cassava, palm oil processing, poultry, as well as nutrition mainstreaming.
Polenakis, who is also IFAD’s Technical Mission Lead, Financial Inclusion, commended the state project coordinating office for the exemplary efforts.
He said they were very happy to see the beneficiaries, adding that they would figure out ways where they could be financed accordingly.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the mission took turns to congratulate the coordinating office as well as gave their recommendations.
In a remark, LIFE-ND National Project Coordinator, Mr Sanni Abiodun, appreciated the mission for all the accolades, saying that the project was trying to resuscitate youths in agriculture.
He said that Abia remained one of the best amongst the Niger Delta state involved in the programme.
He said that the projected, funded by IFAD, Federal Government, NDDC and the state government, is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for national food security, especially in the Niger Delta.
Abiodun said that the project was being designed for implementation in nine Niger Delta states of Abia,
The LIFE-ND State Project Coordinator, Abia, Dr Uchenna Onyeizu thanked the mission for its visit, saying that it would continue to worker to surmount the few challenges identified.
He said that
“Our implementation has been unhindered by any form of interferences by the state government and that has helped us to achieve what we have achieved so far,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu has promised to release additional tranche of the counterpart fund to the project soon, so that more youths and women would be empowered in the state.
The governor gave the assurance when the mission earlier paid him a courtesy visit for supporting the project.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to support the project which he said had made huge impacts in the lives of the youth and rural dwellers.