The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is committed to improving the livelihood of families in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. This will be achieved through an ongoing project called the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND). It’s aim is to address the growing number of unemployed youths by enhancing income and food security. In addition, it is set up to create jobs for rural women and youth in the Niger Delta. In the spirit of collaboration, the project will also help to develop skilled labour and strengthen the institutions at the state and community levels to work with the private sector.
The states that will benefit from this initiative are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers. IFADs aim is to reach 25,500 youth and women and 600 established and potential enterprise incubators through this project, which will run till 2025.
The project cost is valued at a total of $130.01 million, with IFAD financing $60 million. Domestic co-financers include Niger Delta Development Commission ($30 million), the Local Government ($4.88 million), and the National Government ($3.06 million).
As of November 2020, the Abia State government announced that about 4,025 persons would be empowered for agribusiness within the next six years under the LIFE-ND project. The training will focus on business planning and management, basic entrepreneurship knowledge, cycle of specific commodities, climate smart agriculture, amongst others. Focused commodities include rice, cassava, oil palm and poultry.
There are still five years left on the programme to implement across all the other beneficiary states and MSMEs Today will be continue to monitor and report developments of the project. .