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The Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project is set to raise over 1,700 agro entrepreneurs within the next two years through its Women and Youth Empowerment Programme (WYEP) scheme.

The State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo stated this during the opening ceremony of the flag-off of the training for the beneficiaries of the WYEP at the Araga Training Institute, Epe, Lagos.

The two weeks intensive residency training programme, which started on Sunday, is being held simultaneously at the Lagos and Ogun States for beneficiaries of different value chains.

Oviebo further disclosed that the project was one of the highlighted strategies by wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwoolu during the 19th National Women’s Conference as part of the government’s plan to ensure the implementation of its THEMES agenda in the State through women empowerment and job creation.

Speaking further, Sagoe-Oviebo said the empowerment programme comprises provision of Technical Assistance and capacity building in enterprise development, agribusiness training in the chosen value chain of interest, noting that the capacity building will be followed up with grants to finance sub-projects and mentorship for start-up or consolidation of existing women and youth led businesses as individuals or group beneficiaries.

She said: “The WYEP is designed for the unemployed and under employed women and youths with the aim of facilitating income generation and improved livelihood of the beneficiaries.

“A total of 1,620 beneficiaries with 10% People With Disabilities (PWD) inclusion out of over 7000 persons who expressed their interest during the competitive selection process of the programme are to benefit under this scheme.

Breaking down modalities for the training, the state project coordinator said beneficiaries have been divided into batches for efficiency and optimum utilization and best value from the training institutes based on their capacity and facilities.

A total of 350 beneficiaries were randomly selected to kick start the 2 weeks training programme in two Institutes; Araga Training Institute in Epe, where Poultry and Rice value chains beneficiaries will be trained and Aquatic hub in Asero, Abeokuta is training Aquaculture beneficiaries.

Oviebo welcomed the beneficiaries to the institute and implored them to open up their minds to the trainings and make the best use of the opportunities provided. She asked them to adhere strictly to the institute’s rules and regulations.

The basic strategy of APPEALS project is to increase productivity, production and improve processing and marketing of the targeted value chains which are expected to foster job creation along the value chains.

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