Co-ops in Nigeria will benefit from job and wealth creation scheme

The programme aims to improve the livelihoods of women and young people working in rural and suburban areas

A project to create jobs and improve livelihoods will benefit 60 co-ops in south-eastern Nigeria.

The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises (LIFE) programme will promote community-based activities for job and wealth creation in the state of Anambra. Initiated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, it will work with unemployed and underemployed youths and women in rural and suburban households.

An assessment team is visiting the co-ops, which are based in 12 communities across the state to give community farmers a brief understanding of the LIFE programme and its short, medium, and long-term goals.

They will also promote the importance and benefits of the programme to state officials and potential beneficiaries; identify agribusiness gaps in sample communities through the conduct of needs assessments, and verify available structures in the communities.

Team leader Marcus Ogunbiyi, from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, said: “All the beneficiaries of the LIFE programme shall be organised into cluster groups comprising of youth and women co-operatives.

“These beneficiaries shall consist largely of young people selected across several complementary disciplines in a gender-balanced manner.”

He said the overall goal of the program was to contribute to the attainment of food security and economic growth of Nigeria and create jobs and improved livelihoods for young people and women.

It also aims to increase family livelihoods, reduce rural-urban migration among youth, promote community-based farming as a business, and enhance the production of competitive crops.

Anambra state commissioner for agriculture, mechanisation and export, Mr Afam Mbanefo, said the state government had adopted transparency in its dealings with co-ops.

He said the era of one family dominating a co-operative society was over, adding that the government had put processes in place to make it easier to identify co-ops that mean business.

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