FROM: JOE EFFIONG & GABRIEL EFO, UYO,
A foundation known as Pillars Forum, has trained 57 rural women in Akwa Ibom State on enhancing their living standards through food production.
President of the forum, Mrs. Deborah Umoh, who spoke during the presentation of certificates of participation to the trainees at the weekend, said that the training which lasted for three days, was organised to commemorate the International Rural Women’s Day/International Food Day and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 15.
“This was a three-day programme and dedicated to the rural women. There was training on food production, marketing, sales, customer service, and use of basic technology in women-owned businesses. We have an exhibition of sample products from the beneficiaries.
“Today, we have an exhibition of sample product from beneficiaries. And with business start-up packs, these women are expected to go back and improve upon their businesses,” she stated.
The Exxon Mobil sponsored training which was tagged; Enhancing Local Food Production Beyond Subsistence, featured lessons on food production, marketing, sales, customer service, and the use of basic technology in women owned businesses, according to Umoh.
Umoh, however, thanked Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited for making donation to them which made the programme a reality.
A professor in the Department of Business Administration, University of Uyo, Mr. Ntiedo Umoren, urged the participants not to produce food for themselves alone, but to do so enough for sales to earn incomes.
While stating that rural women were poor owing to the fact that they do not cultivate their farmlands with mercantile ideals, Umoren also educated the women on how to keep proper records of their activities. He advised the women not to work alone but should share their responsibilities with others.
A participant, who spoke on behalf of others, Mrs. Grace Udofott, said the past three days of their training had been eventful and urged Nigerians to open their minds to learning, saying that nobody is above learning.
“What we have been taught in the past three days, though some are not new to us, they are but better ways of conducting our affairs. It is an opportunity for us to be here. There are also other new things we learnt during the training, especially the area we have been taught not to work alone,” she said.