From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
The European Union (EU) and Oxfam PROACT project have supported a cumulative of 25,059 small holders farmers in three years.
The 4-year project which is being implemented in Kebbi and Adamawa State rural communities is building the capacity of rural farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) through the Farmers Training Field School (FTFS) and providing other supports contained in the project objective.
Present at the PROACT 3rd Annual Review Meeting held in Abuja, are Pauline Rak, the Grant Manager for Nigeria, Constant Tchona, Oxfam Country Director, Ruth Dull of CRUDAN among other stakeholders.
According to Tchona, the PROACT project is targeted to promote food security and resilience, adding that through cultural peace, people thrive and poverty could be eradicated.
“PROACT has reached more than 8,000 rural households who have escaped the shame of hunger and were able to sustain their livelihood activities without having to use any negative coping strategy as PROACT provided support during the hunger season of June – September 2018.”
He explained further that as part of sustainability measures, “55 per cent of the foodstuff given to communities have been paid back into the grain bank to support themselves in the next lean season and beyond.”
“It is not like free launch but you can put up a system that can help you recover those investments.”
Speaking on the Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) of the project, the country director applauded the rural financing part of the project which according to him has increased to over 2, 000 groups in 70 rural communities.
“This is against a target of 1,400 established which is an achievement of about 150% against the target. Together, the Village Savings and Loans Association have mobilized more than 370 million Naira (about $1.2 million US dollars)”.
Among other listed achievement is planting of over 400, 000 trees through distribution of tree seedlings to 11, 000 households.
An elder statesman, Alhaji Ahmed Joda also spoke during a session on the topic, Sustainability and Replication: reaching the millions – The role of government in providing efficient service delivery that meets priority needs of the people.
In his remarks, he identified need for government’s sustainability efforts for continuity.
Joda further called for scaling up of the project across the 36 states in order to pull out average Nigerians from poverty.