From: Philomina Attah
The Federal Government has launched its Village Alive Development Initiative (VADI) project in nine more rural communities in the country.
Dr Olufemi Oladunni, Executive Director of the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
ARMTI implements the project on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, its parent ministry.
VADI, according to Oladunni, is aimed at engaging rural farmers and other actors in the different agricultural value chains where each community has comparative advantage.
He identified the new beneficiaries as Otukpa, Orokam and Owukpa communities in Benue; Umaisha and Bassa in Nasarawa, and Igbope, Modeke, Oseke and Oba-ago in Oyo.
He stated that the admission of the additional nine communities brought the total number of benefitting communities to 18.
Oladunni said a total of N7 million had been disbursed to the nine communities for onward disbursement to the final beneficiaries.
He said. “ARMTI will work alongside the communities to teach our people how to put this money to use, and how to grow their different enterprises and make profitable businesses from it.
“They will learn the benefits of working in cooperatives and appreciate group dynamics. ARMTI has completed baseline study in each of the communities and has identified the prevalent economic activities, including the commodity value chains in the communities.”
“We have facilitated the mobilisation and formation of groups in the two communities.
“The groups are being trained on savings mobilisation and financial record keeping to enable them provide counterpart fund to build up the seed-fund.”
The ARMTI director further said the group members would thereafter access loans/credit to grow their enterprises.
“As we speak, the seed-fund has been credited into the bank accounts opened in the name of each community. Apart from the Community Accounts, Group Accounts would also be opened. Every member of the Groups has a Bank Account opened for him/her.”
He advised the beneficiaries to demonstrate a high level of commitment, accountability and ownership in the project to enable them to improve your lives and sustain it.
He described VADI as the “demonstrated story of rural development in Nigeria, where the rural people are not given fish, but are taught how to catch fish to feed’’.
According to him, the project started with four communities in Kwara, its operational area, in 2013, and with budgetary provision five communities were added between 2014 and 2016.
Oladunni applauded the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, and other partners for supporting the project.