BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, PORT HARCOURT
The Acting Managing Director, NDDC, Engineer Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, says the Commission will continue to support programmes that will boost Agricultural development in the Niger Delta Region especially among youths and women.
Engineer Audu-Ohwavborua who made the commitment during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, applauded the initiative, insisting that it has provided a veritable platform for Youths of Niger Delta extraction to be trained in agricultural development.
The LIFE-ND programme, which is undertaken by IFAD, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the NDDC, was aimed at exposing youths and women to commercial agriculture and guarantee availability of food.
The NDDC acting MD, while acknowledging the difficulty in meeting up with the demands of the funding due to decline in government revenue, stressed on the importance of the programme as an avenue for employment.
He however expressed displeasure that the results have not been commensurate with the input.
“It’s not enough to train the youths, we need to get a feedback that the training is having a positive impact on the economy of the Niger Delta region.”
Speaking earlier, IFAD Country Director, Mrs. Dede Ekoue, said that the partnership between the NDDC and the international organisation has been fruitful with the training of up-to 6,000 youths including 2000 among them that are already self employed.
“We have seen that the NDDC is committed to changing the lives of the youths. 6,000 youths have been trained in the agriculture value chain by the ÌFAD/NDDC partnership and 2,000 of those youths are today, self-employed.”
The Country Director observed that states in the Niger Delta Region have been beneficiaries of the programme.