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May 27, 2024

Renewed Hope Initiative: First Lady Unveils N’east Zone Agriculture Support Programme to Empower Women Farmers

Nigerian First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu has flagged off the Renewed Hope Initiative Agricultural Support Programme for the North East Zone in fulfilment of her promise to continue to promote the womenfolk, particularly farmers across the Nation.

Represented by the Wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima, the First Lady said the Renewed Hope Initiative’s commitment to supporting women farmers nationwide aligns with the broader National Agenda to strengthen the agricultural sector of the economy.

Sen. Oluremi said 20 women farmers from each of the 6 states of the north eastern region, –Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno – will be supported with N500,000, totalling N3 million.

She added that a draft of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) for each six States of the North East Zone which will be handed over to the First Ladies of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe states, who are also RHI State Coordinators for onward disbursement to all beneficiaries in their respective states.

The First Lady further said that the Renewed Hope Initiative will be collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to empower potential farmers. In this phase, 75% of the beneficiaries will be young female farmers while 25% will be for our young male farmers.

She said: “Today, we are flagging off the Renewed Hope Initiative Agricultural Support Programme for the North East Zone in fulfilment of our promise to continue to promote the womenfolk, particularly farmers across the Nation.

“Given the mood of today, we have decided to have a twin event. The Renewed Hope Initiative Social Investment Programme (RHI-SIP) will be empowering One Hundred (100) Persons with Disability Small Business Owners in Borno State, with the sum of One Hundred Thousand Naira (#100,000) each to recapitalize their existing businesses.

“Today, we are supporting twenty (20) women farmers per State in the North East Zone with the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) each. These farmers are those in the agrarian sector, animal husbandry, poultry and fish farming.

“As we speak, this programme is holding simultaneously in three (3) other zones, namely: North Central – Plateau State; North West- Kebbi State, South West – Ogun State, while that of South South will be hosted at a later date.

“The administration of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR recognizes the pivotal role that agriculture plays in achieving sustainable development and ensuring food sufficiency.

“I want to implore our women farmers receiving support today, to seize this opportunity to expand their agricultural ventures, contribute to local and national food production, and serve as role models for others aspiring to join the agricultural sector.

“I am confident that this initiative will not only transform the lives of the individual beneficiaries, but also contribute to food sufficiency in the North East Zone. I urge all stakeholders, including government officials, community leaders, and non-governmental organizations, to work hand in hand to support local farmers to ensure food security in our communities and Nation at large.

“All pre-selected recipients of the grant will receive the funds today, through our RHI Coordinator for Borno State, Her Excellency, Dr. Falmata Babagana Zulum. Every Home A Garden Our “Every Home a Garden” competition for first time women farmers is still on.

“This programme is designed to encourage our women to grow a garden in their homes. It does not cost much to grow food at home. This garden is to feed your families and share with your neighbours.The goal of this is to ensure food in every home, hence our slogan for this initiative is “#FoodOnEveryTable”.

“I encourage you all to spread the word in your communities. The winner of this competition will go home with Twenty Million Naira (N20,000,000). Entries are to be submitted through the State First Ladies by October, 2024.

“The best garden in the State will be selected by the State First Lady and sent to my Office, while the overall winner out of the thirty-seven (37) presented, representing all States of the Federation and the FCT will be announced in December, 2024.

“We will soon be launching the “Young Farmers’ Club” in Public Schools across the nation. The motto of this club is “Growing the Food I Eat, Starts with Me”. The Club will be launched in State-owned Primary and Secondary Schools.

“This initiative is to encourage farming among our young population. The first School to start the Club, either Primary or Secondary will have their members kitted with Branded Club T-Shirts and Trousers.

“The school with the best farm for each State would be identified, and prizes would be given to them, ranging from School renovations, equipping of School Science Laboratories, Provision of ICT equipment and upgrading of School Libraries, as their preference may be.

“I encourage all Public Schools to participate as soon as possible and identify students who are interested in joining the Club. #One Nigeria/Unity fabric. As we are in Abeokuta, the home of rich fabrics and textile designs, I am happy to also inform you of our National Fabric Competition #ONE NIGERIA/unity fabric.

“This competition seeks to create a fabric that is indigenous, promotes peace and unifies us as Nigerians. The competition is open to all Nigerians within and outside the shores of the country within ages of 15-25 years old.

“The winner of this competition will be given a cash prize of Twenty-Five Million Naira (N25,000,000) to be channelled towards his/her education or business venture as the case may be. Call for entries has begun and submission of entries closes on the 30th of June, 2024.

” The Unity Fabric will be launched on the 1st of October, 2024. To the glory of God, on March 28, 2024, I was made a Global and National Stop TB Champion by the Global Stop TB Partnership, Geneva, Switzerland. The First Ladies of the Thirty-Six (36) States of the Federation were also made Stop TB Champions of their respective States.

“Hence, Her Excellency, Dr. Falmata Babagana Zulum is the Stop TB Champion for Borno State. As Champions, our role is to spread awareness about Tuberculosis.

“I want to seize this opportunity to tell you all that tuberculosis is not a shameful thing. It is a disease that is preventable, treatable, and curable if detected early and treated properly.

“Therefore, we should be our brother’s keeper, encourage people with prolonged coughing to go for testing and not stigmatize them. Let us also ensure that our children are immunised as, and when due. We will in earnest start a comprehensive advocacy campaign on Tuberculosis.

“While we are at this, would you believe that Nigeria has the highest number of HIV/AIDS infections in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially, Mother-to-Child Transmission? My Office will be starting an advocacy campaign on this very soon.

Wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Nana Kashim  Shettima, Borno  State Governor, Babagana Zulum and his deputy, Usman Kadufur during the flag off ceremony in Maiduguri 

Wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum and his deputy, Usman Kadufur during the flag off ceremony in Maiduguri

“I thank all our RHI State Coordinators, Your Excellencies, for your support and commitment at ensuring the goals and objectives of the Renewed Hope Initiative are achieved. I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Governor of Borno State, His Excellency, Prof. Babagana Zulum, CON and the First Lady, Her Excellency, Dr. Falmata Babagana Zulum for their warm reception and continued support.

“To all those involved in organizing and implementing the Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme nationwide, I thank you. Finally, I look forward to witnessing the impact of this intervention in the lives of our women farmers and the broader agricultural community across Nigeria,” Oluremi said.

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