It was a story of dynamic transformation and renewed hope for Azibalua Moses, a person living with disability and resident of Imiringi Community in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state, whose life has been impacted by the FGN/NDDC/IFAD Assisted Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND).
Narrating his life-changing story from being financially dependent to self-reliance, Moses said he found life and a reason to live through LIFE-ND.
The LIFE-ND is a project of the Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development in collaboration with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as participating states that started in 2019. LIFE-ND is targeted at transforming the rural economy, enhancing income, creating jobs, boosting food security and empowering rural youth and women through agribusiness enterprise development in a sustainable manner for the Niger Delta region.
According to him, the project not only granted the opportunity to be trained on layer’s production but also empowered him with 150 birds and 19 bags of feed after the training.
” Now, with what I get from selling eggs produced by my birds, I have been financially stable. I thank LIFE-ND for the program and would urge them to continue so others can benefit also.”
Another Beneficiary in Bayelsa state, Rita Iluma, who prior to being on-boarded by LIFE-NG was an unemployed housewife, validated Moses’s position by affirming that the program had a positive influence on her life, and a game changer for her.
Sharing how she heard about LIFE-NG , Iluma said aside pasting of posters, community town criers were engaged to sensitize residents about the empowerment program. She went for the interview after registration and to her greatest surprise, she was selected as one of the beneficiaries.
On her part, the LIFE-ND initiative is not only improving the livelihood of households but also provides an avenue for women like Mercy Collins to break free from the constraints of unemployment.
Formerly a full housewife, Collins became a profit-making poultry farmer through assistance of the LIFE-ND project in the state.
In her words; “I was privileged to be enlisted as a beneficiary to learn poultry farming. During the training we learnt everything about poultry, and afterwards were empowered with point-of -lay birds. Now, I have started picking eggs produced by my birds and marketing them. Everyday, I have one and a half crates of eggs to sell at 2,300 naira per crate.”
“My life has changed for good, and now, I can support my family. I really appreciate LIFE-ND for this wonderful opportunity,” Collins shares having a big smile on her face.
The mother of three extends her gratitude to LIFE-ND for creating such a transformative opportunity, especially for vulnerable individuals like herself.
Beneficiaries like Azibalua Moses, Rita Iluma, and Mercy Collins, and many more have attested that the LIFE-ND project is more than an initiative, but a beacon of hope to hundreds of people in the community, a catalyst for rural empowerment, and a testament to the transformative power of inclusive initiatives.
Meanwhile, priority commodities promoted in Bayelsa state are poultry, fishery, plantain and cassava. AgroNigeria recently toured LIFE-ND projects in Niger Delta.