(Muhammad Lawal, NAN)
The Economic Committee of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and two other NGOs have distributed 150 animals to vulnerable households in Kebbi State towards making them self sufficient.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the collaborating NGOs are Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food and the Association for the Promotion of Livestock Breading in the Sahel and Savannah Regional Africa.
NAN also reports that the distribution of 150 animals which was done at Tullun Dabaga Bachaka District comprised of two females and a male to 50 vulnerable households in addition to 500kg of forage seeds.
Delivering a keynote address at Arewa Local Government Secretariat of Kebbi State on Saturday, the President, ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Cluade Brou said the gesture was meant to improve the livelihood of benefiaries.
Brou, who was represented by the Focal Point Officer incharge of Kebbi State, Dr Mohammed Fouad, said: ‘The aim of the presentation of the sheep kits is to improve the livelihood of the beneficiaries at community level.
‘The programme is to ensure that the livestock sector holds the potential to food security and nutrition, wealth creation, improved livelihood and poverty reduction.
‘ECOWAS in its context to reduce poverty and ensure food security, has conducted a number of intervention for the benefit of Nigerian population in the framework of projects implementation.
‘The Nigeria population has benefited from numerous interventions including the Programme of Support for Food and Nutritional Security in West Africa (PASANAO).
‘Others are Social Food Safety Net Project in West Africa, the Livestock and Meat Commercialisation Projects in West Africa, All the Regional Programme Support to Professional Organisation and through the Regional Food Security Reserve.’
He said within the framework of the PASANAO, Nigeria had benefited financially through the ‘incentivising adoption of climate smart practice in cereals production in Nigeria six states social and economic diagnostics.
‘This project is meant to assess the socio-economic impact of the use of climate smart practice (CSP) in maize and rice production and to identify appropriate mechanisms by which the large scale adoption of CSPs can be incentivised to halt/reverse land degradation.
‘It also helps to restore ecosystem health, improve livelihood outcomes and build resilience to climate change with rice and maize producers in Nigeria as the main beneficiaries,’ he added.
In her remarks, the First Lady of Kebbi, Hajiya Aisha Atiku-Bagudu appreciated ECOWAS as well as the collaborating NGOs for partnering with Government to assist the less-privileged.
The First Lady, who was represented by the Commissioner for Animals Health, Aminu Garba-Dandiga said the vulnerable persons needed more support to enhance peaceful coexistence among them.
She said that about 2,238 Fulanis were being selected for entrepreneural training, adding that they would be given cash and other items for make them self-sufficient in their various communities.
Also speaking, the State Chairman of Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), Dr Usman Shehu, said that the programme which ‘is the first of its kind is meant to reduce poverty and empower Fulani in their localities.’
’50 vulnerable community members from Tullun Dabaga in Arewa local Government Area of Kebbi State are identified by ECOWAS in allowing the project to be implemented.
‘I want to advise the beneficiaries of the project to manage the animals very well so that in the next 15 to 16 months all the sheep will successfully delivery a lamb each.’
Responding, one of the beneficiaries, Malam Mohammadu Mai-Fulani, who also got three sheep, expressed gratitude to the organisers of the programme.
Mai-Fulani gave the assurance that they would make efficient use of the animal for uptimum benefit.