ECOWAS, Spanish Cooperation donate improved seeds, fertilizers and other farming implements to IDPs in Abuja
Abuja, 17th April, 2019. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) with support from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) has today 17th April, 2019 donated improved seeds, fertilizers, herbicides and other farming implements to 300 households in Durumi, Kuchingoro and Kuje Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps in Abuja under the.
The donation was made through the implementing organisation, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS). The programme is under the ECOWAS/RAAF Social Safety Net Project for the “Empowerment of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Through Agriculture and Improved Livelihoods and Income Generation” funded by the Spanish Cooperation.
The project which is aimed at supporting, empowering and improving the livelihoods of the IDPs through agriculture (with special focus on women headed households) will also build the capacities of the selected IDPs for improved productivity in Maize and Groundnut value chains.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Sékou Sangare in his speech stressed the importance of project as he said “we need to support and empower the IDPS as it will help them produce their own food and fend for themselves”.
Commissioner Sangare emphasized that ECOWAS is taking the issue of food security seriously and is already implementing the ECOWAS Regional Food Security Reserve programme in Member States. He said 5000 tons of grains was donated to Nigeria in January, as part of the programme.
The Ambassador of Spain to Nigeria, Marcelino Cabanas Ansorena in his speech said that since 2005 the Spanish cooperation has supported ECOWAS with over 35 million euros to carry out innovative initiatives to improve food security and safety networks for vulnerable population in its Member States.
Ambassador Ansorena said these projects are not only restricted to agriculture and food security but also renewable energies, promotion of infrastructure, migration, development and gender equality.
President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Mr. Ken Ukaoha in his welcome address said NANTS has been supporting the IDPs as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility with food items, clothing and toiletries but with the intervention from ECOWAS/RAAF he said the “IDPs will be empowered to improve their livelihoods, reduce their dependence on handouts and create jobs”.
Mr. Ukaoha called on humanitarian organisations to increase funding and support to IDP camps in less volatile areas as they are normally forgotten with focus on volatile areas.
The representative of the IDPs Madam Liyatu Ayuba thanked ECOWAS/RAAF, Spanish Cooperation and NANTS for the support in alleviating their suffering. She said they were mostly farmers before the insurgency that displaced them. Adding that with the support they will be able to farm, feed themselves and send their children to schools.