By Frederick Peters, KADUNA

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has launched its gender consortium project on Wednesday in Kaduna

The project which was launched in partnership with Value seed limited, palm valley limited and legal awareness for Nigerian women is expected to cover Kaduna and Niger states, with an expected 50,000 beneficiaries mostly women, within the 3 years of the project duration.

Speaking to newsmen at the launching of the project, the Pogram officer, AGRA, Dr Esther Ibrahim said “what we are here today to do is to launch one of the projects that AGRA is rolling out in order to reach women and youths in Kaduna and Niger states,

Adding that the essence is ” to see how we can reach the unreached, previously, we we have had several projects and we have worked with women to mainstream women into our projects

” but this time around AGRA is going further to push it intentionally about reaching women that are deep down in the rural areas to actually compliment what they are doing to support them to be more resilient, offcourse, they are already farming, but we want them to improve on what they are doing,”

According to her ” currently, we are working with value seed nigeria Limited, that already has an innovation that package inputs for women, improved seeds, to capacity building when it comes to extension, access to fertilizers and to agro chemicals and also markets,

” so we also working with palm valley Nigerian limited that will support women that are basically, involved in processing to see how we can actually add value to whatever they produce and the legal awareness for Nigerian Women to advocate, to give them a voice, she added

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She further said tthe project being launched today Is to last for 3 years and meant to empower 50,000 women
For Kaduna and Niger states ” we are targeting 50’000 women, adding ” this is the inception and it is going to be for 3yrs”

On the the transperency of the recruitment of the 50,000, she assured that the process would be inclusive as the are working in partnership with the 2 states and stakeholders ” so we are not doing this alone because we do not have all the feasibility, but everybody that is a stakeholder is here to help us get to the people that are the main target and that is the women” she maintained

Mr George Kabutha, the project Lead, noted that the recruitment of the potential Beneficiaries is ongoing and that the criteria is set to get the real farmer to benefit” we have been working with the farmers for the last 12 years, at value seed, we know the criteria of working with the real farmers,

” the most important thing is to iknow that you are working with they real farmers, because you want to empower farmers; so you have to make sure, you work with the farmers that’s the first, the next step is call on our women to participate because we know the have been neglected interms of accessing key resources interms of agriculture” in the past hence things had to change.

According to him, they are going to empower the beneficiaries with the key productivity factors of capital, Labour, market and extension services, ” we are going to support 50,000 women within 3 years, with input loan to cultivate maize, soya beans, rice” etc, adding that labour is key, access to market is also key as well as extension services for their farmers in Kaduna and Niger states where the are implementing the project

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Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Niger State, Idris Usman Gbogan (PhD) while commending the program, said it will go a long way in mitigating the spate of insecurity in the state and country at large owing to the fact that some people are nto banditry due poverty, unemployment among other things

” you see AGRA in Niger State is a household name, Agra has been Niger state for d past 8 years, and doing a lot via capacity building, extension services and lots more, Adding that for us in Niger state the program of Agra is a must” he reiterated

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