Climate Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme, CASP, a programme of International Food and Agriculture Development, IFAD, said on Friday that it would undertake enterprise development initiatives for women and youths in seven states.
The Communication Officer of IFAD-CASP, Abdullahi Surajo, said this on Friday in an interview in Abuja.
He said that the programme would support women and youths in enterprise development projects, aimed at creating job opportunities in 727 rural communities across the seven participating states.
“We have organised the candidates’ screening to select the best beneficiaries, and two, out of the four candidates who were screened in each participating village, were selected.
“The successful candidates will be empowered with farm inputs and agricultural equipment, depending on the kind of enterprise which the individual would venture into, to boost agricultural production in their communities.
“The support will be focused on enterprises and activities that are linked to value addition in crop production, processing, packaging and marketing, while tackling constraints to production,’’ he said.
Mr Surajo said that the enterprises that would be supported included village-based farm inputs supply enterprises, post-harvest handling enterprises, crop processing enterprises and produce marketing enterprises.
He said that the agricultural machinery that would be provided included land preparation and development machines such as tractors, power tillers, ox teams, crop processing machines for threshing and dehiscing and oil extractors.
“The farm inputs include seeds, fertilisers and agro-chemicals, while produce marketing materials include bags as well as sorting and grading machines.
“In addition to these, the programme will build the capacity of the beneficiaries in business plan development operations and management.
“The programme will also provide starter packs and working instruments to launch their businesses through matching grants,’’ he said.
The development objectives of IFAD-CASP include increased incomes, enhanced food security and reduced vulnerability for smallholder farmers, particularly women and youths, in the participating states.
Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara are currently participating in the six-year programme, which started two years ago.