The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), has commenced the disbursement of soft loans to the 42 trained beneficiaries of its various Agricultural Training Schemes in Anambra state.
Announcing this on Thursday, at the flag-off ceremony of the disbursement in Awka, the State Coordinator of NDE, Mrs Chika Ufelle noted that the schemes under Rural Employment Promotion (REP), Department were split into Sustainable Agricultural Development and Enhancement Scheme (SADES), Graduate Agricultural Empowerment Scheme(GAES), Agribusiness Enhancement Scheme (AES), and the Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (CBAES).
Ufelle said that GAES was designed to engage our teeming unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions in agricultural production along its value- chains of production, processing, packaging, marketing and consumption in which they have a comparative advantage.
She said that under this programme, 11 beneficiaries would be given an Agricultural loan of #100,000 each while 9 graduates of AES would also be given#100,000.
The State Coordinator further said that 15 graduated trainees of the Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme would equally enjoy the#100,000 soft loans together with the 7 selected beneficiaries of the Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme.
” The #4.2 million soft loans will help the 42 beneficiaries to engage in agribusiness of either crop or livestock production along the value chains.
“This will also help them to earn income, improve their standard of living, increase food production, ensure food security, create jobs and reduce poverty,” Ufelle stated.
In his earlier remarks, the Director General of NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo encouraged youths to engage in agriculture which, according to him, remains the only sector that has the potential to reduce the high rate of unemployment and poverty in the country.
The DG, who was represented by NDE deputy director, Mrs Chikaodi Okereke advised the beneficiaries to make adequate use of the loan for agricultural advancement than engaging it in domestic exigencies before paying it back in the next 6 months.
One of the beneficiaries, Aba Godwin thanked the NDE management for the ample opportunity given to them to enhance their Agricultural production, promising that, ” we shall use the money for the purpose it is meant for, which will invariably create an impact on the agricultural growth in the state.”
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