Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) has said a total of 39,209 beneficiaries of 60.84 percent male and 39.16 percent females have been reached.
Its Project Operations Manager, Dr. Salisu Garba made this known yesterday in Nasarawa at the ongoing workshop organised for reporters on development communication.
Garba said the project also has 196,045 indirect beneficiaries who benefited in a total of 87 Business Alliances and out-grower schemes established across the six participating states of Cross River 19, Enugu 5, Kaduna 16, Kano-25, Kogi 4, and Lagos 18.
Presenting the project’s overview, he said it has empowered 8,078 youths and women with business, technical and life skills training, support to business planning, facilitation of business name registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), start-up grant to establish a commercially viable business and mentorship to provide the beneficiaries with continued support from established agribusiness entrepreneurs.
He said five per cent of the total number of Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) beneficiaries of 10,000 representing at least 500 from the International Development Association (IDA) funding have been set aside for People With Disabilities and Special Need (PWDSN), adding that they are being trained and empowered.
“The WYEP beneficiaries are open to choosing any other value chains, but within the selected priority value chains for the project. This flexibility has enabled the youth to select commodities of high sustainability with quick returns on investment and high potential for foreign exchange generation and wealth creation.
On commodity aggregation and cottage processing centres, he said 83 out of the 90 targets have been identified, verified and are at various stages of preparation and design.
Garba, however, said a lot of achievements have been recorded in about three states -Kano, Kaduna and Cross River – where about 5,052 farmers have either been linked to market outlets.
“The project outcome indicator for productivity increase was 35 percent for each value chain. And as at the mid-term review (February 2021), all the value chains have surpassed the 35 percent targeted yield increase from baseline figures. Across all the value chains, there was a 48.9 percent increase in average yield. This is above the average of 35 percent targeted at the onset of the project.
“Increase in processed output of the priority value chains by project beneficiaries a minimum of 40 percent increase in processed products was expected for all the value chains. As at MTR, data from processed cassava, rice, aquaculture, and wheat showed an average increase of 47.7 percent. This is higher than the expected increase in processed output of value chains of 40 percent.
He further said the project has provided 25 agribusiness clusters out of the 50 targets of the project with infrastructure such as borehole, box-culvert and tube wells.
Earlier, National Project Coordinator of the Project, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Jobdi said the workshop is a crucial part of collaboration efforts with institutions to ensure the smooth implementation of the project.
He said: “Capacity building and support to collaborating institutions is a key component of the APPEALS Project, with the broad aim of building the capacities of collaborating partners and stakeholders that are participating in the implementation of the project, so as to promote knowledge sharing and facilitate the exchanges of experiences.
“Our strategic communication approach is to consolidate our relationship with the media, to utilise available communication channels to facilitate the realisation of the project development objective, which is to enhance the agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers and to improve value addition along the priority value chains in the participating states
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