The Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) is set to empower over 1,600 agro entrepreneurs within the next two years through its Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) scheme.
The State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, stated this during the opening ceremony and commencement of training for the beneficiaries of the scheme held at the Araga Training Institute, Epe, Lagos.
The two-week intensive residency training programme, according to Sagoe-Oviebo, was part of plans by the state government to empower women in the state.
According to her, the project was one of the strategies by the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwoolu during the 19th National Women's Conference as part of the government's plan to ensure the implementation of its THEMES agenda in the State through women empowerment and job creation.
Speaking further, Sagoe-Oviebo said the empowerment programme compris provision of technical assistance and capacity building in enterprise development, agribusiness training in the chosen value chain of interest, noting that the capacity building would be followed up with grants to finance sub-projects and mentorship for start-up or consolidation of existing women and youth-led businesses as individuals or group beneficiaries.
She said: "The WYEP is designed for the unemployed and underemployed women and youths to facilitate income generation and improved livelihood of the beneficiaries.
"A total of 1,620 beneficiaries with 10 per cent People With Disabilities (PWD) inclusion out of over 7000 persons who expressed their interest during the competitive selection process of the programme are to benefit under this scheme."
Breaking down modalities for the training, the state project coordinator, said beneficiaries have been divided into batches for efficiency and optimum utilization.
A total of 350 beneficiaries were randomly selected to kick start the training programme in two institutes - Araga Training Institute in Epe, where poultry and rice value chains beneficiaries would be trained and aquatic hub in Asero, Abeokuta is training Aquaculture beneficiaries.