Twenty one thousand women and youths, drawn from six states of the federation are to benefit from a $200 million World Bank-assisted Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) initiative.
The APPEALS Specialist, Mrs Heather Akanni, made the disclosure on the sidelines of a training workshop for the facilitators of the project in Lagos on Tuesday.
The six states slated to benefit from the project are Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Enugu and Cross River.
Akanni, who is the National Women, Youths and Livelihood Specialist at the National Coordinating Head Office of APPEALS, said the 21,000 women and youths formed 35 per cent of 60,000 people, expected to benefit from the initiative across the six states.
She said that people living with disabilities were expected to be incorporated in the 35 per cent allocated to women and youths in the initiative.
“This is to improve women’s livelihood,” she said.
The Enugu State Women, Youths and Livelihood Specialist, Mrs Ihuoma Eze, assured that Enugu State being one of the focal states, would take the initiative seriously.
“We are prepared to empower women and youths, who have interest in agribusiness, including production, processing and marketing.
“We will educate and empower them in their areas of interest. We are going to support them in any way possible by providing the inputs they require but not cash.
“Although the value chain for Enugu State is rice, cashew and poultry, women and youths are not restricted to these three areas.
“They can explore any crop within the value chain in the project,” she said.
Meanwhile, the World Bank International Development Association Project Appraisal Document on the proposed 200 million-dollar credit, stated that the project was programmed for 60,000 individuals at 10,000 per state and 300,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.
“The project monitoring and evaluation and information system will include a gender-tracker to ensure adequate documentation on different categories of project beneficiaries,” the project document stated.
According to the 92-page document, the project development objectives include increased productivity of agricultural value chains by project-supported farmers.