Enugu state Deputy Governor and chairperson, Enugu State Agro-Processing Production Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) steering committee , Cecilia Ezeilo, says APPEALS project in Enugu State has empowered 8,520 direct beneficiaries, reassuring state government’s continuous support for the program. .
nugu state Deputy Governor and chairperson, Enugu State Agro-Processing Production Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) steering committee , Cecilia Ezeilo, says APPEALS project in Enugu State has empowered 8,520 direct beneficiaries, reassuring state government’s continuous support for the program. .
She disclosed this at the plenary of the World Bank implementation support mission held on Tuesday in Enugu.
Ezeilo said the state APPEALS project had impacted greatly on the agricultural sector in Enugu state. ” Though Enugu state was the last state to commence the project, we have fought strenuously to ensure that our people benefit maximally from the project. So far, the APPEALS project in Enugu state has empowered 8,520 direct beneficiaries as at the 9th Mission.
“These beneficiaries are categorised into CIGs/ SMEs totalling 3,478 and women and youth empowerment programme(WYEP) totalling 1,700. Many farmers in the state have also benefitted through capacity training, technology demonstration , construction of aggregation and processing centres and very soon energy and farm access road”, Ezeilo said.
She added that the support of APPEALS project has impacted farmers in enhancing their productivity across the 3 priority value chains of rice,cashew and poultry. “The 15 aggregation cottage processing centres are currently being constructed and are in advanced states in the various locations,”Ezeilo said.
“We are there doing everything possible to ensure the construction of 13.3 kilometres farm access roads. We are also assiduciously working to fast track the implementation of energy and more VCIPs”, Ezeilo said.
She reiterated the commitment of the state government to the overall success of the APPEALS project in Enugu state.
In his speech, the World bank Task Team leader for APPEALS project, Manievel Sene, expressed satisfaction with the support given by Enugu state government. He adjudged Enugu as the most performing state.
Sene assured Enugu state APPEALS of World Bank’s continuous support .
In his remarks, the National Project Coordinator, APPEALS, Sani Jobdi, said that they were in Enugu to review what the state had done, engage them, know their challenges and see how they could deal with critical issues .
He thanked the state government for its support to APPEALS project.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Acting State Project Coordinator, Enugu APPEALS, Ihuoma Ezeh, said that the event by World bank- Federal Government of Nigeria, ,was aimed at reviewing the current project implementation status across components and it’s open for advice inorder to improve the activities of the project implementation unit, as well as improve agricultural productivity along Small and Medium Scale farmers and enhance value addition along the value chains of poultry, rice and cashew.
She said they had recorded a lot of progress in women and youth empowerment programme, profiling and more projects coming.”We are about to start a 13 :3km farm access road for farmers to have access to the markets to sell their products and that will make them more productive”.
The beneficiaries according to Ezeh,, are women and youths, cutting across the 17 local government areas of the state.
She said they disbursed a sum of N2 million to women and youth and had set up 600 new agric- businesses and more are coming.
Ezeh mentioned bureaucracies, personnel changes and slow implementation as some of the teething problems they had, disclosing that they started the APPEALS program, a year later than other states and had worked under pressure inorder to catch up with other states because they must finish at the same time
Cross River, Enugu, Lagos, Kaduna , Kano and Kogi are the benefiting states .