By Hussaini Hammangabdo, Yola
More than 70,000 households in rural communities around Adamawa and Kebbi states have benefitted from an empowerment programme in which beneficiaries were aided to achieve utmost productivity in their vocations.
The Pro-Resilience Action (PROACT) program which is implemented by OXFAM and funded by European Union and which is aimed at improving food security, nutrition and resilience of vulnerable rural people, started about four and half years ago and is at its terminal stage.
At the PROACT Mid-year Review Meeting in Yola to deliberate on what the project implementers termed ‘Sustainable Project Closure,’ the implementers and others at the meeting were excited that the programme has been a huge success.
OXFAM’s Governance & Influencing Coordinator, Faleye Usman, put the number of households who had benefited at over 55,000, explaining that this was as determined in April this year when the program got to its fourth year.
He added that the number had increased substantially over the past couple of months as program implementation continued.
Tobi Salawu of Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN), OXFAM’s implementing partner in Adamawa State, who also spoke on the project, said over 78,000 households had so far benefited.
“Our surveys have shown tremendous improvement in livelihood of beneficiaries, as different from when farmers in target local government areas were having low yields because of poor understanding of climate and soil conditions amidst inadequate number of government extension workers to offer the necessary technical assistance,” Mr Salawu said.
PROACT intervention services have included strengthening of the capacity of especially households who rely on agriculture through best practice knowledge transfer, offer of financial inclusion services which include mobilising people in benefitting communities into cooperative groups for loan and other benefits, and linking beneficiaries to market systems.
PROACT is implemented in four focus local government areas in Adamawa State: Song, Mubi South, Fufore, Guyuk and Gombi.
The Executive Chairman of Gombi Local Government, Hon Dimas Shekel, who attended the meeting in Yola, said PROACT helped his people from joblessness and poverty.
“So many of our youths were engaged in productive ventures and our society was saved from habouring a pool of jobless people for recruitment into anti-social activities,” the Gombi council chairman said.