The Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) has given $78 million as training grant to 150 farmers in Bauchi State and the FCT to boost food security in Nigeria.
The grant will be used to train the farmers in poultry and fisheries, with Massandje Toure-Litse, ECOWAS commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture highlighting that these two subsectors play a vital role in driving the sub-region’s economy and fostering its development.
The training will cover a wide range of topics, including animal husbandry, feed formulation, disease management, and marketing.
The beneficiaries are farmers of the Community Allied Farmers Association of Nigeria (COMAFAS). Speaking at the event, Toure-Litse said the grant would increase young people’s capacity to engage in agricultural value chains and food production.
“ECOWAS has designed quality training modules and arranged for the training of 3,032 young people (30 percent women and 70 percent men,” she said.
“Agricultural productivity and competitiveness in West Africa had the tendency to impact positively on the sub-regions’ food security, economic development, and livelihoods.
“The programme seeks to enhance the capacity of youth and women farmers and promote their access to resources and markets and their involvement in agribusiness,” she added.
Toure-Litse said ECOWAS’ agriculture policy remains the guiding framework for the 15 bloc members as it prioritises agricultural productivity and competitiveness.