By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.
The Livelihoods and Nutrition Empowerment (LINE) projects is to spend $14,839,265 (N6.7 billion) to uplift the living standards of poor, rural farming families in Bauchi State.
Jointly funded at 90 and 10 percent by Global Affairs Canada and Oxfam respectively, the project was aimed at raising the living standards of 10,000 families through agriculture value chain.
OXFAM Associate Country Director, Evelyn Mere assured at a 5-day workshop Beneficiary Identification and Training in Bauchi Tuesday that the organization is committed to the upliftment of the lives of poor people especially women who are affected more by poverty.
Giving an overview of the LINE project, Mere said that the LINE project will strengthen the socio- economic wellbeing of the rural poor in many ways.
She explained that OXFAM is working in many areas including gender issues, economic inequalities and other salient issues affecting the weak and vulnerable.
The LINE project coordinator, Austine Terngu has earlier noted that the project is being carried out in selected local government areas across Bauchi State and has selected families that will benefit from the project.
According to him, the project which will last for 60 months, will improve the livelihoods of 10,000 rural farmer households through increased productivity, enhanced market access, better nutrition and an enabling agricultural business environment.
Mr. Austine Temgu said that the targeted beneficiaries will comprise of 60 percent women, 40 percent men, 20 percent youth, 10 percent pastoralists and 10 percent nutrition beneficiaries.
The selected value chain for the programme include increased production of crops like Sorghum, Sesame and Maize as well as Livestock to produce Dairy, Beef, Mutton and Chevon.
Bauchi State commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Yakubu Kirfi had in a welcome address said that the state government is committed to partnership with development partners to move the state forward.
Alhaji Yakubu Kirfi emphasised that Agriculture is one of the cardinal point of the present state government for the provision of job opportunities, more income and ensuring food security in the state.
Declaring the ceremony open, permanent secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Alhaji Yakubu Adamu said that the state government had through the ministry been involved in the project since inception.
The permanent secretary said that the LINE project is in line with the federal and Bauchi State government’s aim to develop agriculture from the grassroots to ensure food security.
Adamu however advise that the monitoring and evaluation mechanism of the project should be strengthened to assess its impact on the selected families and the state
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.