The livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises -Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) has on behalf of the FGN/NDDC/IFAD disbursed over N20 million to farmers in Ondo state, under its incubators/incubatees model programme.
The beneficiaries numbering 20 are among the first 250 batch incubatees, who have undergone an intensive compulsory six months training under established farmers, known as incubators.
The funds are expected to be used to finance various Agriculture projects such as cocoa, cassava, poultry and fishery.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Sunday Akintomide advised the incubatees to project the program to others, who could benefit from it.
“You are fortunate to partake in this noble program, being a unique and life changing. I will advise you to use this money wisely knowing that by so doing, you will become employers of labour and allow others to benefit. Agriculture cannot be neglected because food is compulsory for all. Proclaim this noble initiative to the world that Ondo State is undertaking such a marvellous program at this time.”
The State IFAD Project Coordinator, Mr. Olawale Ademola explained that the program was meant to train male farmers between the age of 18 to 35, while women’s age is pegged at 50, due to their vulnerable nature.
“The incubatees were selected by independent consultants, who carried out a thorough screening. They have undergone intensive training by established farmers, we code name incubators.
“These incubators are expected to monitor and supervise the incubatees to enable them succeed. The working capital is a take off loan for the incubattees to start on a good footing. We have 4 incubators from different communities each with five incubatees to supervise.”
He maintained that the door was still open for interested job seekers to apply as the program is designed to last twelve years with the first phase to last six years.
“This program is arranged in such a way that we in Ondo State Office have no say in who is chosen. The independent consultants conduct oral interview, check applicants credentials and visit their acclaimed homes. We are still recruiting as the target is 4250, out of which only 250 have been picked”
Chairman of the State Boundary Commission, Mr. Robinson Ojebowale said Agriculture was the best investment with greatest yield.
Each of the four incubators later collected cheques on behalf of their incubatees