Cross River: Empowerment exercise begins for 600 women and youths trained under CADP
Six hundred beneficiaries comprising women and youths trained under the World Bank/Federal Government assisted Commercial Agricultural Development Programme CADP in Cross River State are to be empowered to become entrepreneurs in the various trade.
The State coordinator of the Programme, Mr. Nyambi Inyang disclosed that the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade has already “graciously granted approval for the empowerment of all 600 beneficiaries under this programme”
Speaking at a workshop in Calabar, the state capital the state coordinator of the programme noted that “we are by this workshop initiating an interface between the service providers and beneficiaries in cocoa, oil palm, rice, poultry and aquaculture value chains. It is intended to facilitate the commencement of empowerment process for our 600 young and energetic Women and Youths who have been trained to become entrepreneurs with the capacity to be employers of labour, rather than job seekers.”
He revealed that “It is hoped that this intervention will go a long way to achieve its intended purpose as we galvanize resources to implement all investment plans of beneficiaries between now and May 31st 2017.”
Giving a brief history of the programme, the state coordinator said the Cross River CADP Women and Youth Empowerment Programme began with the training and empowerment of the first batch of 100 Women and Youths in the value chains of Oil palm, Rice, Aquaculture and Poultry. The current batch is the second and the third.
He added that, “As you aware, the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) was developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders in response to Federal Government of Nigeria’s quest for private sector intervention to develop agricultural value chains and accelerate agricultural growth “
He maintained that “the project was approved by the World Bank on January 15, 2009 but became effective on July 30, 2009 and was expected to close on December 31, 2014. However, following the request by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the World Bank approved the restructuring of the project to better align it with the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and to speed up project implementation and disbursements with strategic focus on supporting the commodity marketing corporations, sharpening of focus on the most profitable value chains for new investors, supporting the establishment of aggregation centres, address post-harvest management issues and most significantly, Youth and Women Empowerment in terms of capacity building in entrepreneurship and support to initiate businesses along the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development’s Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP).”
Also speaking at the workshop, the Commissioner for Agriculture Cross River State Prof. Anthony Eneji enjoined all participants to take advantage of the workshop particularly the technical session and make it as interactive as possible, so that they can get full benefits and be a testimony for the success story of the programme.
The Agric Commissioner expressed happiness that by the performance indictor reports of the programme so far there is a “30% increase in total sales of agricultural products under the targeted value chains of cocoa, oil palm and rice among participating small and medium scale commercial farmers (Cocoa, Oil palms and Rice). He pledged the state government’s continuous support for the programme.