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Niger govt. lauds VSO, AFAN intervention to reduce poverty

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The Niger government on Friday lauded the Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) collaboration with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) to eradicate poverty through agri-business in the state.

Alhaji Haliru Jikantoro, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development made the remark in Minna during the closing ceremony to mark the activities of the project which started in 2014 and elapsed in 2019.

Jikantoro said that there was need to empower the people through agriculture especially as it has becomes a big business.

“Your programme is in line with the State government’s efforts to empower the women and youths through agriculture.

“The VSO intervention programme in agriculture has impacted positively on people especially in government’s efforts to eradicate poverty,” he said.

He commended the state chapter of AFAN for collaborating with VSO to train farmers in agri-business towards eradicating poverty among them.

Similarly, Mr Salifu Mamuda, Country Director, VSO said that the project was aimed at promoting volunteering to tackle global poverty and disadvantages.

Mamuda said that it also bring people together to share skills, creativity and learning to build a fairer world.

He said that the organisation trained farmers in the areas of farming as a business, group strengthening, value chain strengthening and policy and advocacy.

The Country Director urged the State government to partner with AFAN in order to sustain the programme which expired in 2019.

He said that the intervention in the state was funded by Accenture, adding that 5,200 farmers in the state were trained in agri-business.

Mamuda thanked the farmers for embracing the programme to increase wealth and ensure food security.

Also, Dr Sylvester Baye, Coordinator, North Central, regional office, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, identified lack of stakeholders synergy as an impediment to the development of agriculture.

Baye called for proper collaboration between the stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of agricultural programmes.

Earlier, Alhaji Shehu Galadima, Chairman, AFAN in the state said that the VSO enlightened the farmers on intervention programmes available to enhance their activities.

Galadima said that during the lifespan of the project between 2014 and 2019 the farmers were exposed to establishment of demonstration plots in Lapai Gwari area.

He said that the farmers were taught how to start Village Savings and Loan Association and training of farmers in seed production and irrigation in Adunu village.

The AFAN Chairman said that the VSO also installed milling machines in five project locations and trained the farmers on same.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the VSO is a London based non-profit International Development Organisation, with a vision for a “world without poverty” and a mission to “bring people together to fight poverty and marginalisation.”

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ismail Abdulaziz

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