FMARD to engage 2m youths, 997,500 women through LIFE programme – Report

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Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ( FMARD )

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ( FMARD ) says it will engage 1.9 youths and 997,500 women through its Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises ( LIFE ) programme.

This was disclosed in excerpts of a Book entitled: ‘‘Making steady, sustainable progress for Nigeria’s peace and prosperity: a mid-term scorecard on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’’authored by the Presidential Media Team.

The book will be presented to the public on November 16 in Abuja.

LIFE is a programme aimed at bringing life back to rural communities through the empowerment of youths, women and other vulnerable groups across the country.

It stated that the programme design commenced in the past one year.

It is geared to promote community-based on-farm and off-farm business activities as a model for job and wealth creation among unemployed youths and women in rural and suburban households.

“Programmes under LIFE are expected to establish 150,000 cooperatives nationwide under commodity value chain groups, establish and operate up to 1,000 cottage industries in the country.

“It is also expected to ultimately engage 1,995,500 youths and 997,500 women for enhanced productivity and, through these interventions, add about 5,965,000 metric tonnes of foods to the national food store,’’ it said.

The report said the key challenge leading to the late take-off of the programme was related to the cumbersome procurement procedures.

It stated that the Anchor Borrowers Programme, driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with FMARD, had provided substantial money for dry season farming in 2015, wet season rice and wheat farming in 2016.

According to the report, the programme is currently supporting 2016 dry season farming in many states.

“Anchor Borrowers Programme is an intervention aimed at fast-tracking access of rural farmers to finance for productivity.

“This entails provision of agricultural credit for financing the production of rice, wheat, ginger, maize and soybeans in nine states.’’

The states are Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Benue, Zamfara, Anambra and Kwara.

“Through the programme for the out-growers in the past one year, massive harvest is expected to meet the national requirements of paddy and milled rice within the shortest possible time,’’ it stated.

The publication was edited by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, and Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, ( Vice President’s Office).

The book is a documentation of the notable achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Party (APC) administration since it was inaugurated on May 29, 2015.

President Buhari wrote the foreword of the 348-page book, containing milestones of all the federal ministries and some select departments and agencies in the last two years.

The Buhari Media Support Group also contributed to the compendium rich with text and visuals.

The book will be reviewed by Prince Tony Momoh while APC National leader  Bola Tinubu is the keynote speaker/book Presenter.

NAN

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