EU/FAO to support 100,000 youth on agricultural production.
The European Union and three United Nations agencies have earmarked a total of €22.2 million to boost agricultural production and income generation activities among 100,000 unemployed youths in the Northeast region.
The projects are targeted towards restoring means of livelihoods of host communities, internally displaced persons and returnees in 13 local government area across Borno state.
Deputy Coordinator and FAO Representative in Nigeria, Mourou Macki Tall, who spoke at a ceremony to distribute 150 bull held in Konduga and Jere local government areas of Borno state said the gesture would create more employment in communities affected by insurgency.
“The productivity of Nigerian youth in the North East can be unlocked with strategic and complementary support including animal restocking for depleted herds, access to start-up capital, markets and training in livestock production.
“If young people have a productive livelihood in agriculture and can meet their daily needs, they are far less likely to become hypnotized by insurgent groups,” Tall said.
According to him Nigerian youths constitute the majority of the unemployed population of the country, chiefly in rural areas.
This, he said, was particularly true in Borno, the worst affected state in the North East, a region beleaguered by a decade of conflict.
“Against this background, the European Union Trust Fund is supporting Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to establish a productive safety net project in cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP) and The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN).
“Under the project lasting from 2018 to 2020, FAO will reach about 100,000 households in Borno, including farmers, agro-pastoralists and fisher-folk. To invigorate livestock production, just under 10,000 households in the state are targeted for other livestock distributions including goat and poultry.
“Prior to deliveries, all livestock are quarantined and vaccinated, ensuring a safe introduction to the communities.
“The EU-funded project to restore livelihoods in Borno will also engage with local and traditional leaders to promote greater youth access to land and business opportunities.”
One of the beneficiaries, Salisu Nara, a 25-year-old father of two from Zabarmari in Jere local government area of Borno State, was overjoyed as he held tightly to a black and white coloured bull after the ceremony.
“Words can’t express how I feel, I am really excited for this bull, it will take me out of poverty, I will fatten it (the bull) and when it is big enough I will sell for N250 000 naira. With the money I will buy a smaller bull and invest in irrigated farming,” he said.
Source: Daily Trust