Tinubu’s wife launches ‘Renewed Hope’ initiative for women farmers in South-East

IMO- The First Lady, Remi Tinubu, on Tuesday inaugurated the maiden Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI) women’s agricultural support group programme for the South-East to boost agriculture in the region.

In a speech at the ceremony in Owerri, Mrs Tinubu said the programme was in fulfilment of her commitment to continuing to promote the welfare of the womenfolk, particularly farmers in the country.

She said that RHI was committed to supporting women farmers with the broader national agenda to strengthen the agricultural sector.

“President Bola Tinubu’s administration recognises the pivotal role that agriculture plays in achieving sustainable development and ensuring food sufficiency.

“To this end, this is a two-in-one programme designed to support our women farmers nationwide.

“On one hand, the RHI is supporting 20 women farmers per state with the sum of N500,000 each,” she said.

The first lady also said that N10 million would be distributed to beneficiaries in each of the five Southeastern states through the RHI state coordinators.

“On the other hand, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), in partnership with RHI, is supporting extra 80 women farmers, together with our 20 women farmers per state, making it 100 women per state to be supported financially,” she said.

She also said that the beneficiaries in Imo would commence their training during the week while other beneficiaries in the zone would commence their capacity training as scheduled by NALDA.

Mrs Tinubu said that the women would receive agricultural inputs, such as fisheries: 50 fingerlings and feeds for each farmer – and poultry: 25 three-week-old birds and feed for each poultry farmer.

She said that those for arable farms will receive a bundle of improved cassava and fertiliser for each agrarian farmer.

“All farm produce will be bought over by NALDA after the harvest.

“The financial support to the 20 women farmers in each state from the RHI is to enhance and encourage productivity while the training by NALDA for all the 100 women farmers per state is to reduce crop waste and promote more efficient production and farming techniques.

“This dual approach of the RHI and NALDA demonstrates a comprehensive strategy to address the various challenges faced by women farmers,” she said.

Mrs Tinubu advised the beneficiaries to seize the opportunity to expand their agricultural scope, contribute to local and national food production and serve as role models for other aspirants to enter the agricultural sector.

She expressed confidence that the initiative would not only transform the lives of individual beneficiaries but also contribute to the overall economic development of the zone.

She urged all the stakeholders, including government officials, community leaders and non-governmental organisations, to work hand-in-hand to ensure the smooth implementation of the programme.

Mrs Tinubu further said that the RHI Social Investment programme would empower 100 persons with disabilities, mainly small business owners in Imo, with the sum of N100,000 each to recapitalise their existing businesses.

She commended the RHI coordinators, who are wives of the state governors in the various states, for their support and commitment toward ensuring that the goals and objectives of RHI were achieved.

In a remark, Gov. Hope Uzodimma said that the struggle for food security must be a collective effort.

Mr Uzodimma expressed confidence that the empowerment of the rural farmers would contribute to food sufficiency in the state.

“Nigerians should be made to see that we must be able to farm and produce what we must eat,” he said.

He, therefore, commended the first lady for extending the gesture to the South-East.

The executive secretary of NALDA, Paul Ikonne, said the authority was “committed to partnering with the wife of the president to make sure that we lure our mothers and young women into farming.”

Also speaking, the governor’s wife, Chioma Uzodimma, said that the empowerment of women forms the progress and development of any society.

“It is a crucial step toward ensuring gender equality and building a more inclusive prosperous community.

“Agriculture, being the backbone of our nation, provides a significant avenue for women and not only creates economic opportunities but also contributes to food security and sustainable development,” she said.

(NAN)

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