The National Project Coordinator (NPC) of the FGN/NDDC/IFAD Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), Dr. Abiodun Sanni, has showcased achievements of the project since its commencement four years ago.
Speaking during the media tour inception meeting for media professionals on Monday in PortHarcourt, Sanni noted that the LIFE-ND project is funded by four entities, adding that the scorecard of the project was evidence-based, directly impacting on the livelihood of youths, and women, particularly women headed households.
According to him, the tour of LIFE-ND Project sites will enable all these strides to be witnessed first hand.
Also, a briefing document on the LIFE-ND project made available to AgroNigeria revealed that it has covered 58 local government areas and 600 communities so far, providing essential agricultural services and training, empowering youths and women.
According to the document, “Since its establishment four years ago, the LIFE-ND project has been able to support rural agribusinesses and delivered market driven infrastructure projects including; construction of 69.09km road, two small bridges, 34 culverts, and two jetties, facilitating food supply and market access.
“We have secured 6,500 ha of farmland and developed 850 ha for the landless women and youth farmers. In the same vein, 22 mini poultry production cluster facilities have been completed, supplying poultry products to the market and enhancing households nutrition and food security.”
It further showed that the project’s performance has promoted financial inclusion for rural agribusinesses in terms of savings promotion, payment systems, cashless credits, and linkage with the formal financial sector.
“So far, LIFE-ND has trained 14, 255 persons on financial literacy, executed partnership with Fintech and introduced a digital payment system with potential to reach 5000 smallholder farmers”.
However, few challenges still affecting the project are delay or inadequate payment of counterpart funds by stakeholders.
“Non-payment of counterpart funding since project inception by some stakeholders has posed a serious challenge that has hindered the commencement of the project in Akwa Ibom, Imo, and Rivers.
” Russia-Ukraine war and inflation affecting the cost of inputs, as well as other financial support to beneficiaries including stipend payment, and working capital. All these can negatively affect the possibility of realizing project design physical targets,” it read in part.