The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has empowered no fewer than 80 Ebonyi women in agric-business as part of its efforts to achieve food security for the nation.
It reports that the empowerment was organised under the Agency’s Women in Self Employment Programme (WISE-P) on Friday in Abakaliki.
The Director-General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya said during the closing ceremony of the Programme that training and the empowerment was to effectively improve the capacity of women in agric-business.
Fasanya, represented by Mrs Funto Babarinde, Chief Enterprise Officer of SMEDAN, said the participants were drawn from eight cooperative societies across Ebonyi State.
He added that the Five-days programme was to provide entrepreneurship training, vocational training, empowerment with common facilities and delivery of business development services (BDS).
“It was designed for eight cooperative societies of 10 members each totalling 80 women per state. The programme targets 13 state across the six geo-political zones making a total of 1040 participants.
“Some of the state include Osun, Kastina, Bauchi, Ekiti, Kwara amongst others.
“It basically to promote self-reliance amongst women and to empower them in order to achieve production and sustainability in agricultural businesses in terms of crop farming and agro-processing along the value chain.
“This is also to boost production of raw materials for industrial use and development,” the Director-General explained.
Fasanya expressed optimism that the WISE-P programme is creating opportunity linking women farmers to resources required to enhance and boost their farming business venture.
“The empowerment is a capacity building for the women and after now, a multi-purpose dryer machine would be given to each of the cooperative societies.
“As you may be aware, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) sub-sector is a very important sub-sector in the Nigeria economy.
“MSMEs also account for the highest number if jobs created in the economy. The most recent National survey of 2020 revealed that there are 39.6MSMEs, employing 62.5 million persons (80.2% of labour force).
“Contributing 46.31 per cent and 6.21 per cent to normal GDP and export respectively,” he added.
Mr Chigozie Asochukwu, State Manager, SMEDAN, Ebonyi said that the Agency was committed to empowering of citizens for job creations through agriculture.
Asochukwu urged the participants to utilize what they have learnt and support the federal government programmes towards job and wealth creations.
Miss Onyinye Julius, a participants and a member of Success Multi-Purpose Cooperative commended the federal government for putting up the programme.
Julius promised to work more harder at ensuring that the nation achieve Sustainable agricultural development and food productions.