Home Uncategorized 650 Cross Riverians Benefit from IFAD LIFE-ND Business Start-up Inputs

650 Cross Riverians Benefit from IFAD LIFE-ND Business Start-up Inputs

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Andy Esiet, Calabar 

Beneficiaries of the IFAD LIFE-ND business start-up inputs

The International Fund for Agricultural Development Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise for the Niger Delta (IFAD LIFE-ND) has trained and empowered 650 Cross Riverians with a Production Processing and Services (PPS) special business start-up inputs.

The beneficiaries from the three senatorial districts of the state who were trained in various skills, got the PPS start-up inputs like Cassava Mobile Grinding Machines, Poultry Roasted/Seasoning Equipment and Table Fish Processing (Smoking Kiln) at the Technology Incubation Centre, Harbour Road, Calabar.

In his address during the ceremony at weekend in Calabar, the Director of Administration, Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Christopher Achong commended the humanistic approach of the project as it is penetrating and endearing with the impact felt at the grassroots and charged the beneficiaries to take the opportunity very seriously as this was a lifetime opportunity to cater to their needs and also open the chances to others.

He said, “I have seen firsthand what they have done in their value chain of interest, so extending this gesture to processing, production, and services is a step in the right direction to ensure food security and sustainability. I do not doubt the abilities of these 650 beneficiaries you have trained following your standard and the programme model and today are here to receive their inputs. They will not fail, and I am very certain they will deliver the same way others have been delivering”.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Godwin Otei expressed great satisfaction at the outcome of the project, charging the beneficiaries to take advantage of the glorious opportunity as this was not always easy to come by expressing satisfaction at the new impression that Agriculture has created as many have now ventured into it.

On her part, the Centre Manager of the Technology Incubation Centre, Dr. Agatha Effa said, “the nomenclature used in this project is a reflection of what is demonstrated here today. The pieces of training received by the beneficiaries from what I have gathered have prepared them to surmount every business challenge, this is the way to go about it”.

She encouraged them to be firm, resolute, and dogged to deliver on the business and “consider yourselves lucky, this is one project that not only prepares you but comes with start-ups. This is truly the first of its kind and it will be unfair for anyone to abuse, truncate and deny others from tapping from this wealth to also better their lots. She encouraged them to make good and proper use of the opportunity and equipment for the glory of God and the benefit of mankind” .

Head of the Cross River Agricultural Development Project (CRADP), Mr. Bassey Edet struck a partnership deal with the state project office through monitoring and evaluation using the extension agents across the local governments adding that aside from monitoring, the agents have been trained to also render technical services which they will gladly assist through his supervision as the business of food security, sustainability etc is the business of everyone.

State Project Coordinator, Mr. Innocent Ogbin said that the project designed was to bring succour to the people mostly youths, females-heading households and people living with disabilities (PWD) and having been trained, it was only necessary that the 650 beneficiaries across the state in the 10 councils where the programme is domiciled be supported to commence business. 

In his words, “don’t collect these equipment and dumped them at home. Don’t also be an obstacle to others as your progress in your agribusiness from what you have been given today will pave the way for others to also tap from this wealth”.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of BIFEM Technologies, the fabricating firm for the products, Mr. Biodun Joseph  took time to explain the effectiveness of the equipment and their operations, describing it as user-friendly, easy to operate and manipulate, accessibility of parts, and cost-friendly, adding that the products have a warranty of 365days. He submitted by stating that BIFEM will always be handy to attend to every challenge that will be encountered by the beneficiaries within the 365 days warranty period.

The beneficiaries expressed satisfaction with the gesture as one of them, Mr. Raymond A, a PWD  said, “today, I have reason to celebrate this life-changing opportunity. I have always been neglected because most people think that we cannot do anything meaningful in our condition, but IFAD LIFE ND sees things differently and today I now have this machine to sustain my livelihood. I am very grateful to God, and I appreciate all those who put up this project and made it work to this level”. 

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