From Mokwugwo Solomon, Nnewi
There was joy in Ihiala community, in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, as a non-governmental organization (NGO), The Light Givers Humanitarian Foundation, equipped over 300 women from the council area with modern skills in various aspects of agricultural practice. The lifeline was for them to be able to put food on their tables.
The three-month empowerment training workshop held at the St. Martin’s Catholic Church hall, Ihiala, was the first of its kind in the area.
Chairman of the group, Chief Stanley Obodoagwu, during the opening ceremony of the workshop, said the organization, established in 2019 with the objective of touching lives, developing communities through empowerment, poverty alleviation, et cetera, came up with the programme in order to bring the people closer to ending hunger, achieving food security and eliminating all forms of malnutrition in households.
He said: “Selected women of Ihiala will be trained on how to cultivate and produce cassava, palm oil, plantain, maize, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, carrots, onions and other organic farming tools to ensure that the objectives of this initiative is achieved after training.
“After this training, besides the knowledge imparted on the women, this NGO will equally empower them with agricultural inputs and seed money to kick-start their own farming. This NGO will also build a processing hub to enable the women process their produce easily, and add value to what they have produced.”
He said the NGO would be giving maximum attention to supervision and inspection during the course of the practical exercise to ensure high level of agricultural productivity, adding that, if the women put in their best and grab the skills they were taught in the course of the programme, it would go a long way to put food on their tables, help in food security, and increase their economic value.
Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Nnamdi Onukwuba, who was represented by the head, Women in Agriculture, in the ministry, Mrs. Patricia Uba, commended the foundation for its initiative of empowering women in agricultural practices. She said women empowerment has been the priority of the present government, at the federal and state levels.
According to her, the Anambra State government, under Chief Willie Obiano, has also done a lot to place women on the front burner in many spheres of life.
Wife of Ihiala Local Government Area chairman, Mrs. Sylvia Obi, also commended the NGO for its interest in empowering Anambra women. She noted that the state government has invested heavily in agriculture, which, she said, has helped the state attain self-sufficiency in food production.
Mrs. Obi encouraged the women participating in the agricultural training to ensure that skills they acquired were translated to reality that would put food on the tables of many families.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Anna Chinwike, who spoke to Daily Sun, praised the NGO for its strides in assisting rural women to acquire knowledge in modern farming methods. She promised to be dedicated to the three-month training, which, she enthused, would equip her fully as a farmer.
“Farming has been my dream, because my father was a farmer, and I grew up under him. The problem I had engaging in farming before now was the issue of child-bearing and poor knowledge of farming techniques. Now that I have got opportunity to get equipped, I will not miss this chance. It will help me in raising the standard of living of my family,” she said.
Another participant, Mrs. Nneka Njoku, said: “I am thankful to this organisation. This is the first time this kind of thing is happening in our community. Once I finish this training and get requisite things to start off, I will engage fully in farming. I love farming. I thank God they also promised to establish plants where we can process our farm produce. This is an added advantage. This will encourage us a lot.”