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April 14, 2024
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FG, IFAD Launch LIFE-ND Agribusiness Innovation Forum in Calabar 

The Federal Government, through its project, the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has launched the Agribusiness Innovative Forum (LAbIF) in Calabar as part of efforts to improve agricultural development in the state.

Speaking during the launch on Thursday, Dr. Abiodun Sanni, the National Project Coordinator of LIFE-ND, emphasized the forum’s significance as a multi-stakeholder platform, bringing together project beneficiaries and key figures in agri-entrepreneurship.

According to Sanni, LAbIF aims to tackle various issues such as profitability and access to production factors. Aligned with the Federal Government’s “Renewed Hope Agenda” and its food system transformation strategies, LAbIF represents a direct response to fostering innovative financing in agriculture.

Sanni emphasized the importance of private sector involvement, highlighting LAbIF as an ecosystem that brings together various actors within the agricultural commodity value chain. These actors are expected to collaborate in developing specific value chains to enhance agricultural and rural development.

LIFE-ND has established and supported 22,150 enterprises out of the targeted 25,500 across six states: Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, and Ondo. With over 30 million dollars injected into the rural economy, the project has significantly increased agricultural productivity and value addition, particularly in cassava, cocoa, oil palm, rice, and livestock chains.

Poverty alleviation and youth and women empowerment are central to LIFE-ND’s objectives. Nufam Anom, the Cross River State Commissioner for Livestock, Aquaculture, and Fisheries, highlighted LAbIF’s role in ensuring food security and income generation. He pledged the state government’s commitment to fulfilling its counterpart funding obligations to further bolster the state’s economy.

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