About 4,500 Abia Youths, drawn from across 100 Communities would benefit from a Federal Government’s agricultural poverty reduction programme, aimed at empowering young people between the ages of 18 and 35.
The empowerment would be through building of capacity, in terms of knowledge and skills, to create enabling environment for beneficiaries of the training programme.
After their training, the beneficiaries would be expected to create wealth within the rural economy and reduce poverty to the barest minimum.
Speaking on the nature of the programme, the Abia State Project Coordinator of the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta, popularly called, LIFE-ND, Dr Uchenna Onyeizu said that he has concluded the process of selecting the first set of incubatees in 25 Communities .
He said that the selections were carried out across the 10 selected Local Government Areas in the State for the initial stage of the exercise.
According to him, the programme would be carried out in stages to enable beneficiaries learn as the process progresses.
He explained that the next step is to link the incubatees up with the already inaugurated incubators who will in turn train them in their chosen field of agro commodity, using their own facilities.
Dr. Onyeizu explained further that he adopted the incubator/incubatee model in order to see how effective it can be in reviving the nation’s rural economy.
“In doing this, we have been able to identify agro entrepreneurs that are into agricultural production, processing and marketing across these Communities that we are working on. We want to look at those that are already doing the business of Agriculture and making money, that have experiences. When we identify them, we now go and identify what we call incubatees, who are young persons between the ages of 18 and 35 and women headed households with children below the age of 15 years, living very close to these incubators and after some understanding with these incubators, engage incubatees that would now go train at these incubators’ farms as the case may be,” he said.
The Coordinator disclosed further that the State Project Coordinating Office had already identified 25 incubators, who are resident Abians, eager and willing to allow it make use of their facilities to train the young persons and has inaugurated and sensitized.
He described the selection process as transparent, adding that they are looking for young unemployed or underemployed persons, who are enthusiastic in venturing into agro businesses within these rural communities.
“Having placed a very stringent criteria in terms of their selection, we will get at least, those that really deserve this project so that the project can really transform lives and revive the rural economy. We are looking at those that can really be changed as they engage in this our empowerment project through agribusiness enterprises”, he said
The first stage of the selection exercise took place in 25 communities spread across the 10 Local Government Areas of Aba South, Bende, Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South, Obingwa, Ohafia, Osisioma Ngwa, Ugwunagbo, Ukwa West and Umuahia South, the Coordinator. disclosed.