By Francis Onyeukwu, Awka.
The Anambra State Government says it will empower women cooperative societies involved in agricultural activities across the state with N1.08 billion.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Foster Ihejiofor, said this when he received members of Ultimate Business Women and Farmers Association of Nigeria (UBWFAN) on Wednesday in Awka.
Ihejiofor explained that each women’s corporative society in the 362 electoral wards of Anambra State would each receive N3 million to promote agricultural activities.
“The aim of the agenda is to boost food production by the groups, with the target of making the state to become one of the food baskets of the nation,” he said.
Ihejiofor said that Gov. Chukwuma Soludo was passionate about agriculture, saying that women were a very reliable group to work with in the government’s agenda for the agricultural development of the state.
The commissioner said that the government was targeting the empowerment of at least 8,000 women across the state under the scheme.
He commended the UBWFAN for its interest in agriculture and assured its members of partnership in its agricultural programmes.
Earlier, Mrs Nkiru Nwagbo, National President of UBWFAN, said the group was in the commissioner’s office to seek partnership with the ministry and the state government in agriculture.
“We realize the critical role of your ministry as a key driver in agricultural programmes, and it is for this reason that we seek sustained partnership with your ministry,” she said.
Nwagbo called for the inclusion of its members in the state’s activities with national and international organisations, being coordinated by the ministry.
“We will equally want capacity building of our members in agribusiness ventures in livestock, crops production, storage and processing. among others,” she said.
Nwagbo specifically said that UBWFAN would like to be included in the activities of International Food and Agriculture Development Programme and Value Chain Development Programme (FGN/IFAD, VCDP) as well as schemes of the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP). among others.