The Enugu State Government, in collaboration with the World Bank has disbursed a total of N3.4 billion to 1,700 farmers in the state under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project.
The Acting Project Coordinator of the Appeals project in Enugu, Ihuoma Eze made this known yesterday, during flag-off ceremony of implementation of the women and youth empowerment component (WYEP) of the project.
Eze said the WYEP programme which began in 2019, with a call for expression of interest, had a total submission of 29,707 which was trimmed down to 1700, including women, youths and persons with disabilities across the 17 local governments in the state.
“While 55.8 per cent of the beneficiaries are women and girls, People with Disabilities (PWDs) make up five per cent of the beneficiaries,” she explained, adding that trainings were 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 of 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 World Bank, we have been able to record 57 per cent success in the implementation of WYEP,” she said.
In his address, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said the state government remained committed to food security through marked improvement in agriculture and agro-allied processing as well as creation of massive employment for its citizen, hence the APPEALS project is considered a major vehicle for the achievement of this objective
On his part, the National Project Coordinator of APPEALS Nigeria, Mohammed Jobdi thanked Ugwuanyi for providing the counterpart fund needed for the project.
Jobdi, who was represented by the National Women, Youth and Livelihood Specialist, Ronke Akanni called on beneficiaries of the programme to ensure that they contribute to job creation and food security in the state.