Food security: IFAD engages 100 communities in Ondo

May 20, 2021
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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says about 100 communities are currently being engaged in food security in Ondo State.

IFAD Coordinator in the state, Mr Adewale Ademola, disclosed this at the IFAD/FGN/NDDC/Livelihood Improvement Family Entreprises-Niger Delta (Life-ND) project, held at Bolorunduro village, Akure North Local Government Area of the state, on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IFAD, in collaboration with other partners, is engaging the communities in cocoa and cassava production as well as poultry and fishery.

Ademola said that the programme was aimed at training young people called ‘incubatees’ in rural communities and getting them acquainted with the agricultural value chain.

This, he said, would include planting, harvesting, processing, marketing and consumption, adding that it would go a long way in ensuring food security in the state and Nigeria at large.

The coordinator said that the United Nations had engaged IFAD as a platform for engaging farmers, processors and scientists from the grassroots to look at areas of promoting food security that would prevent prevailing ailments in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to him, “We are here today for a Food System Dialogue with rural dwellers, under a project tagged: Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises in Niger Delta.

He said that the programme had started in the state since 2020 and that it would last for 12 years, covering 10 selected local government areas.

Ademola listed the council areas, which, he said, were randomly selected, as: Owo, Akoko South-West, Akoko South-East, Idanre, Ese-Odo, Irele, Ile-Oluji, Ondo-West, Ondo-East and Akure North.

He said that the programme would cover 10 communities per council area, while 4,250 youths, mainly rural dwellers, would be engaged.

“The model we use for this programme is called ‘incubatees and incubators approach’.

“The incubators are the already established farmers who had passed through the agric value chain, while the incubatees are the beneficiaries, who are the youth.

“We have so far trained 250 incubatees across the 10 council areas, with N9,000 monthly stipend, and also planning to train 50 incubators.

“The incubatees (participants/youths) are attached to the incubators (trainers) from whom they will undergo training on any agribusiness of their choice for a period of time.

“IFAD will later come for assessment after which the beneficiaries will be financially empowered,” Ademola explained.

Also speaking, National Agribusiness Promotion Coordinator, Life ND, Mrs Anthonia Esenwa, said that the idea was to hear from those involved in the food production system at the local level.

She said that the rural farmers would be in position to correct them on things not done right, thereby aiding the attainment of food security.

NAN reports that the programme is jointly funded by the Federal Government, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and IFAD.

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