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Niger Delta Development Commission Unveils Plans to Empower Small-holder Farmers and Youth in Agriculture

NDDC set to utilise agriculture for youth empowerment
Victor Antai

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has pledged its support to small-holder farmers.

This commitment was reiterated by the NDDC Executive Director of Projects, Victor Antai, during an inspection visit to farms in Akwa Ibom State.

Accompanied by key officials including the NDDC Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mrs. Winifred Madume, and the Director of Commercial and Industrial Development, Dr. Godwin Nosiri, Antai expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of empowering young farmers and enhancing food production.

Antai highlighted the significance of the “Project HOPE” initiative, which aims to engage youths in the region by creating employment opportunities, particularly in agriculture. This initiative aligns with the NDDC’s Renewed Hope Agenda and underscores the commitment to diversify the region’s economy away from reliance on oil.

Recognizing the region’s favorable ecological factors, including arable wetlands and ample rainfall, Antai emphasized the potential for multiple crop cycles within a farming season. He emphasized the need to harness the agricultural sector’s capacity to absorb a large number of youths into gainful employment.

Blessing Fubara, the resource person for “Project HOPE,” outlined the program’s second phase, which will focus on commercial agriculture, information and communication technology (ICT), and support for youth engagement in the creative industry. This holistic approach aims to equip youths with the skills and resources necessary for sustainable livelihoods and economic empowerment.

During the visit to Ikot Ebom Itam in the Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Aniebet Antia, Chairman of the Commercial Farmers Association, underscored the importance of adequate capital for commercial farming. Antia identified lack of funding as a major constraint for small-holder farmers but expressed optimism that with proper financial support, they could significantly contribute to food production in the country.

The NDDC’s commitment to supporting small-holder farmers and empowering youth in agriculture marks a significant step towards fostering economic growth and development in the Niger Delta region. By prioritizing agriculture as a key component of its youth empowerment program, the commission aims to harness the region’s agricultural potential while addressing unemployment challenges among the youth population.

Moreover, by focusing on commercial agriculture and providing support in areas such as ICT and the creative industry, the NDDC seeks to diversify economic opportunities and create a conducive environment for sustainable development.

As the commission continues to implement its youth empowerment initiatives and collaborate with stakeholders, there is optimism for positive outcomes in the agricultural sector and broader economic transformation in the Niger Delta region. Through strategic investments and partnerships, the NDDC endeavors to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of young farmers and catalyze inclusive growth and prosperity in the region.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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