The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) says empowerment of over 800 women and youths in Imo will eradicate poverty and improve the living standard of the people.
Mrs Gloria Akobundu, its National Coordinator. made the observation at the opening ceremony of a four-day Capacity Building Workshop on Modern Farming Techniques organised for women and youths in Owerri .
She said the gesture was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to alleviate poverty and unemployment, especially among people living in the rural areas.
Akobundu said the participants, drawn from the 27 local government areas of Imo, would be exposed to modern agricultural techniques to enhance food sufficiency and turn around economic fortunes of citizens.
She said that President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration had set machinery in motion to empower vulnerable persons across the nation as a way of fighting insecurity and corruption in the society.
She said the aim of NEPAD, and other international bodies was to place African countries on the path of sustainable growth and development, eradicate poverty and halt marginalisation of African continent in the global space.
Akobundu said that NEPAD was also to enhance African skills and integration in the global economy as well as accelerate empowerment of women and youths.
She said that agriculture had become an important sector of the nation’s economy, contributing 40 per cent to her economy and 27 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
“Agriculture is a catalyst for the economic development of any nation and it serves as a veritable means of reducing poverty and increasing food production,” she said.
“The workshop will take place in each of the senatorial districts across the 36 states of the federation. It will increase agricultural productivity of women and youths, reduce unemployment and youth restiveness,” she said.
Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo, who declared the workshop open through his Commissioner for Labour and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Blessing Nwamerenini commended NEPAD for the programme.
He said that the programme was in consonance with the rescue mission agenda of Imo Government.
The governor said that a number of women and youths in the state had already benefitted from his administration’s alleviation programme and the “She Needs a Roof Project (SNARP)” of his wife.
He enjoined participants at the workshop to take the exercise seriously.
Mr Emmanuel Abang, the Director of Programme, Development and Implementation Initiative of NEPAD, said part of the mandate of NEPAD was to create wealth, transform women and youths as well as to strengthen the nation’s agricultural revolution.
He said the workshop was organised to train participants in a number of areas such as feed processing and poultry business.
A bang said that the face of agriculture had changed due to the emergence of modern technology which increased yield and generated more income for the framers.
Earlier, Eze Samuel Ohiri, the Chairman Imo State Council of Traditional rulers, had said that issues such as insecurity would be a thing of the past if youths in the country were positively engaged.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants will be given certificates and starter packs at the end of the training.