FG’s LIFE Initiative To Empower 2 Million Youths, Women
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) says it will empower about two million Nigerian youths and women in the first three years of its new initiative, Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE).
The LIFE Programme Coordinator, Ms Keke Bongos-Ikwue, disclosed this at the commencement of registration of LIFE cooperatives at Ojokoro LCDA in Ifako/Ijaye Local Government, Lagos state.
Bongos-Ikwue said The LIFE was an initiative of the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, targeting unemployed or underemployed women and youths.
“We have been planning this programme for over two years and this is our first outing. The pilot phase of the outing is being replicated in 24 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) simultaneously by different groups as we speak,” she said.
“We want to empower women and youths along the agricultural value chain of high value commodities like ground nut, palm products, wheat, rice, cashew nuts. Also included are commodities like cassava, honey, cocoa, sugarcane, tomato, sesame seed, livestock dairy and aquaculture.”
“The second phase of this programme will cover the whole country within two years. Research has shown that the major cause of insurgency is poverty and idleness; it has led many of the nation’s youth to look outside the country, causing them to become vulnerable and easily manipulated, and eventually some lose their lives.”
The coordinator said the programme intended to directly empower approximately three million rural youths and women within five years of implementation.
She added that it would also produce about 14 million metric tons of food in the 9,975 council wards across the 774 local government areas.