The Enugu State Government in collaboration with the World Bank has disbursed the sum of N3.4 billion to 1,700 farmers under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project.
Acting project coordinator of the project in Enugu, Ihuoma Eze made this known during the flag-off ceremony of implementation of the Women and Youth Empowerment (WYEP) component of the project.
Eze said that the WYEP programme which began in 2019 with a call for expression of interest, had a total submission of 29,707 which was pruned down to 1700 women, youths and persons with disabilities across the 17 local government areas of the state.
"While 55.8% of the beneficiaries are women and girls, PWDs make up 5% of the beneficiaries" she explained.
She added that training was also conducted for beneficiaries along chosen value chains of Poultry, Rice, Cashew and Cassava and along the segments of production, processing and marketing.
She noted that while an individual enterprise assessed input grants worth N2 million, group enterprises comprising two to five individuals per group assessed between N4 million to N10 million each.
"With the support of the state government, the guidance of the national coordination office and interventions of the WB, we have been able to record 57% success in the implementation of WYEP" she said.
In his address, National Project Coordinator of Appeals Nigeria, Mohammed Jobdi thanked the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for providing the counterpart fund needed for the project.
Mohammed, who was represented by the National Women, Youth and Livelihood Specialist, Ronke Akanni called on beneficiaries of the programme to contribute to job creation and food security in the state.
On her part, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Cecilia Ezeilo, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said that the APPEALS project falls in line with the objective of the state government in agriculture, noting that the state government was committed to food security and massive job creation.
"The state government has been committed to food security through marked improvement in agriculture and agro allied processing as well as creation of massive employment for its citizens, hence the APPEALS project is considered a major vehicle for the achievement of this government objective."
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