Food security and revenue drive in Edo State have received a boost with the flag-off of distribution of farm inputs to the fourth batch of beneficiaries of the Federal Government agricultural initiative, LIFE-ND Project.

The agricultural inputs included 25 generators, 25 deep freezers, 16 de-feathering machines, six mini-haulage tricycles motorized knapsack sprayers, 550 litres of insecticide, 864 litres of herbicide and 378 bags of fertilizers.

The initiative, the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) project, is being implemented in the nine states of the Niger Delta region. It is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in six states, including Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Ondo States, with counterpart funding by the government of the respective states, while the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is funding three other states, namely, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Rivers States.

Flagging off the distribution at the Edo State Coordinating Office in Benin City, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon Stephen Idehenre, charged the beneficiaries to maximize the items for the development of their immediate environment and beyond.

He said that 7,500 day-old-chicks, assorted poultry feeds, catfish fingerlings and juveniles, assorted fish feeds, cassava stems, mobile cassava processing machine, fish smoking kilns, nine wheelbarrows and improved rice seedlings have also been distributed to the project beneficiaries.

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According to him, the initiative was meant to ensure self-reliance by youths and women, as well as increase agricultural productivity in the state.

According to him, the agricultural inputs would serve as lifeline for productivity and food security, stressing that the state government was committed to empowering rural communities through economic growth, in line with the dictates of IFAD through investment in human capital

”Edo State, with its youth-focused policies and visionary approach to agriculture, takes a leading role in this transformative journey,” the Commissioner said.

”Recognizing the youths’ role, we are not merely distributing inputs, but sowing seeds of opportunity for a generation equipped with the tools and knowledge for modern agricultural practices,” he said

He said that the LIFE-ND project was not just an initiative, but a beacon of hope towards poverty alleviation and increased productivity.