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 on Friday 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 was 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 the programme, 11 beneficiaries would be given an Agricultural loan of N100,000 each while 9 graduates of AES would also be given N100,000.
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She further said that 15 graduated trainees of the Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme would equally enjoy the N100,000 soft loans together with the seven selected beneficiaries of Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment Scheme.
“The N4.2 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 said.
In his earlier remarks, Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, director general of NDE, encouraged youths to engage into 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 MD, who was represented by Chikaodi Okereke, NDE deputy director, advised the beneficiaries to make adequate use of the loan for agricultural advancement rather than engaging it in domestic exigencies before paying back in the next 6 months.
Aba Godwin, one of the beneficiaries 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 impact on the agricultural growth in the state.”