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ECOWAS: We’ve supported 150 Nigerian farmers with $78m to boost food security

ECOWAS: We’ve supported 150 Nigerian farmers with $78m to boost food security
September 27
07:55 2023

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it supported 150 farmers in Bauchi State and the federal capital territory (FCT) with $78 million as training grants to boost food security in Nigeria.

Massandje Toure-Litse, commissioner for economic affairs and agriculture, ECOWAS, made this known at the opening of a poultry training workshop for beneficiaries in Abuja on Tuesday.

The beneficiaries are farmers of the Community Allied Farmers Association of Nigeria (COMAFAS).

Speaking at the event, Toure-Litse said the grant would increase young people’s capacity to engage in agricultural value chains and food production.


She said the $78 million would go toward the training of 150 youth in poultry and fisheries, adding that the two sub-sectors were the main driving force behind the sub-region’s economy and development.

“ECOWAS has designed quality training modules and arranged for the training of 3,032 young people (30 percent women and 70 percent men,” she said.

“Agricultural productivity and competitiveness in West Africa has the tendency to impact positively on the sub-region’s food security, economic development, and livelihoods.


“The programme seeks to enhance the capacity of youth and women farmers and promote their access to resources and markets and their involvement in agribusiness.”

Toure-Litse said ECOWAS’ agriculture policy remains the guiding framework for the 15 members of the bloc as it prioritises agricultural productivity and competitiveness.

She added that there was a need for urgent intervention in gender participation in agriculture and youth employment, food chains, crops, forestry, livestock and fisheries.

“Products from crops, livestock and fisheries are the second largest when we talk about intra-community trade and interestingly, among these, livestock is the largest item,” she said.


“It is anticipated that by 2030, at least 30 percent of young people in the sub-region will be employed in the agriculture sector.

“This will amount to a 75 percent reduction in youth under-employment in rural areas.”

On his part, Austine Maduka, founder and president of COMAFAS, said despite the expansion of the poultry industry in Nigeria, it could only cater to 30 percent of the needs of Nigerians.

Maduka said the training was aimed at educating young farmers on how best to start and manage production.


He added that the partnership with ECOWAS would strengthen efforts towards the availability of meat, and other foods and impact relevant skills for sustainable strategies to reduce poverty.

Maduka said 75 out of the 150 beneficiaries would be trained in poultry farming in the FCT, while the remaining 75 would be trained in fish farming in Bauchi.


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