115,000 unemployed youths and women from 23 local government areas of Kaduna State will benefit from mechanized livestock project which the State government in partnership with a non-governmental organization, Peace Aid Project (PAP) commencing next week.
The project is targeting the unemployed youth and women who are based in rural communities to engage in three major areas of livestock business which are poultry, piggery and sheep in the first year of the project with the state been the first to benefit.
Added advantage of the project is that the state government is not setting up any special funds to execute the project since the funding will be coming from international donor agency in United Kingdom, but will have to provide the land and beneficiaries in a way of job and wealth creation and economy diversification.
Submitting the implementation report to the Ministry of Agriculture after six months of intensive consultations, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PAP, Benson Emakpor, said the choice of Kaduna State for the pilot phase of the project was due to seriousness of the state government to improve the standard of living of its citizenry, saying the project is having a short and long plan of 10 and 20 years.
According to him, “it is first a rural project for rural people in the rural communities. The objective is to create jobs for the youths and empowered the women. What we are doing is logistic approach to livestock farming. We have goat, poultry, sheep, piggery, cattle fatling, but we are starting with poultry, piggery and sheep because that is what the state need for now. It is going to be a value chain project; from process, production, harvest and distribution.
“We started this project six months ago but government say it needs report on the implementation of the project. What we are given the Governor today is the implementation report with maximum input from directors in the ministry. This is a sustainable development and realistic in practical terms. It will improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state and check insecurity.
“We are going to create 5,000 jobs for youths and women in each of the 23 LGAs. For example, if we are creating 2,000 fish ponds, each youth will manage two ponds and that will be 1,000 direct jobs in managing the ponds alone while others will work to harvest, process and transport the produce to the already available market”, he added.
Receiving the report on behalf of the governor, the State’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Manzo Maigari said, “all the State need to do is to support the project since the partners are bringing in their funds. This is project the government is primarily suppose to be doing but since government alone cannot do everything. We look for partners, we seek support from private sector and development partners which is one of what the state about to witness.
“So we see that if we can support about 80 percent of our people who are into agriculture, our economy will be better of. We don’t want to be waiting for monthly allocation from federation account before we can do things in the State which is why we are going into agriculture with every opportunity”, stressed the commissioner.
The state government will however required to set up the criteria that will enable the beneficiary key into the project.