| ORUK ANAM – Beneficiaries of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-assisted programme in Akwa Ibom say that it has impacted positively on their lives.
Mr Eno Solomon, the Secretary of Asajo Community Piggery Enterprise in Ikot Inyang, Oruk Anam Local Government Area of the state, made this known while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Oruk Anam, Akwa Ibom, on Tuesday.
Eno spoke when the Supervision Mission team comprising Federal Government and IFAD officials visited Ikot Inyang village to inspect projects being implemented under the Community-Based Natural Resource Management Programme (CBNRMP).
He said that since the inception of the programme in July 2011, many members of the association had been empowered financially, leading to an improved economic well-being.
According to him, the group started the programme with two pigs and can now has 40 pigs with each sold for between N20,000 and N25, 000.
“We have 21 members in this group, apart from the corporate ownership, each member has at least seven to eight pigs of their own.
“We started this business with an initial capital of about N1.3 million provided by the IFAD programme, but now each of our members can take care of their family through the profit while the business is growing,” he said.
He added that the group was also engaged in fishery production to increase their income and reduce poverty within the community.
Eno said that the two fish ponds owned by the group currently has about 4,000 fingerlings, adding that 3,000 fish had been harvested in the first circle.
According to him, the group realised about N2 million from the sale of the first harvest and expressed the hope that the second harvest would generate more income.
At Nung Ukana in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of the state, the Nka Ima Processing group hailed the programme for its support.
Mrs Mfon Sunday, the leader, said the group comprised 15 women, 10 youths and five men, bringing the total membership to 30.
Sunday said that the mill set up by the group could process about eight drums of grade 1 oil, and three drums of grade 2 oil in a month.
She explained that a drum of grade 1 oil cost N50, 000 while grade 2 was sold at N40, 000 with a bag of palm kernel going for N4, 500.
“IFAD programme has added value to our lives. Through this business, we contribute to our family upkeep and send our children to school.
“We have diversified to other businesses like cassava, plantain and pineapple farming all in an efforts to increase our income.”
The Head of the team, Dr Oyesola Oyebanji and Consultant, National Programme for Food Security, thanked the groups for appreciating the contribution of the programme toward improving their livelihood.
Oyebanji commended the group for keeping accurate record, adding that it showed that they had received some level of training.
“I am impressed with the way they keep their records. You can see when they obtained loan and paid back as at and when due, to attract more credit facilities.
“They need to have access to more credit facilities to expand their business because their records are clean.
“The oil palm processing group has collected loan and has paid back, this shows that the business is benefiting the rural people,” Oyebanji said. (NAN)