The Edo State Government has commenced the disbursement of over N202 million to 2,250 start-ups spread across five Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The Focal Person, Project Support Unit, Edo Sustainable Development Goals (PSU-SDG), Mrs. Ifueko Alufohai, said this at the training and disbursement of the grants to beneficiaries in Ovia South West Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
She said five local government areas in the state were selected to benefit from the programme in 2012 and 2013 based on their low-income status, noting that the implementation of the programme failed until Governor Godwin Obaseki assumed office in 2016.
Alufohai noted that 450 agripreneurs have been given start-up grants to improve their farming businesses in Ovia South West LGA of Edo State, adding, “This grant basically is for training and empowerment as the beneficiaries are expected to invest the grants on their farming businesses to improve their livelihood.”
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According to her, 90 beneficiaries were selected from five communities across the five LGAs, which include Ovia South-West, Orhionmwon, Akoko-Edo, Etsako West and Esan South-East LGAs.
In Ovia South-West LGA, she noted that 450 beneficiaries from five communities, including Iguobazuwa East, Umaza, Siluko, Udo and Ugbogu benefited from the start-up grants of N90,000.
In his address, Chairman, Ovia South West LGA, Hon. Destiny Enabulele, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government and Edo State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for the grants.
Enabulele urged the beneficiaries to guard against wastage and properly utilize the seed grants to grow their farming businesses so as to stimulate government to extend more support to farmers.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture and Food Security Programme, Prince Joe Okojie commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the SDG Project Support Unit for ensuring the grants are disbursed to agripreneurs.
Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Mr. Arise Joseph, who is into plantain farming, thanked the governments for making their dreams of over six years come to pass with the training and disbursement of the start-up grants, promising to utilize the fund to improve their businesses and contribute their quota to the development of the society.
At the training session, resource persons delivered lectures on fishery, crop production (cassava and watermelon), poultry and piggery farming, among others.