By Femi Mustapha
One thousand, Four Hundred(1,400) Women and Youths in Kaduna state are to benefit from the ongoing Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Supports Project (APPEALS), World Bank Assisted.
This was disclosed by the State Project Coordinator(SPC), Kaduna, Dr. Yahaya Aminu during the assessment of the 7th Implementation Support Mission. (ISM) by the stakeholders, in kaduna on 11th December, 2021.
The Stakeholders include; World Bank, Federal, Ministry Of Finance, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, and the Kaduna state government in the state.
Dr. Yahaya Aminu said though, they are aware of challenges in the state as regards the project, however, noted that they have fully commenced disbursement for beneficiaries to ensure that both the Women and Youths empowerment program for the value chain, have successfully be implemented.
“I want to say we are progressing very well, we have already supported 1,403 beneficiaries in the three priority value chain in the state which are; Diaries, Ginger, and maize, we have already got approval for supporting another 3,700 beneficiaries, we also have approval for supporting our 1,400 beneficiaries for the women and Youths”.
Mr. Aminu added that the team has completed the design for infrastructure interventions in the various Agro-business cluster, affirming that by the end of this year, they will advertise for the project, and by the first quarter of next year, implementation will commence.
On his part, the Task Team Leader, ( TTL) Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, said the Mission is an attempt by the World Bank and the Federal Govt to provide periodic support to the project in the field.
He explained that after every six months, the team come for assessment, saying their focus is to appreciate what is on the ground, and then begin to ask what are additionalities to get the job done in the field, and agree on the way forward for the next phase of the implementation season.
“This is not going to be different. We will work with the team to assess what is on the ground, we will come up with innovative ideas on how to approach issues that we can identify. We also agree on the next phase of the mission. This project has been on for four years, we have one year and nine months left, that shows we are on the home stretch and we should be cleaning up our system”.
Speaking on the successes made, Dr. Oredipe said Kaduna state has been able to develop a business investment plan for their would-be beneficiaries and at the point of releasing funds to those successful ones to implement their programs.
Similarly Commissioner for Agriculture, Kaduna state, Alh. Ibrahim Hussaini said they have made successes in some of the components and, as well, lagging in some.
He advised there is a need to work hard, by doing lots of community engagement, training for the capacity of the implementation team, and also providing the infrastructural components of the project, which he said, helps link the farmers to access the market.