The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has embarked on a 5-day entrepreneurship development training and empowerment of 80 women in agribusiness in Bauchi state.
The Director General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya, stated this in Bauchi on Friday at the closing ceremony of the training.
According to him, the programme was initiated under ‘Women in Self Employment Programme (WISE-P)’ of the agency with particular focus on women who are into farming and agribusiness (agro value chain) production.
Represented by Mr Mahmood Isa, Zonal Coordinator, SMEDAN, North-East, Fasanya said that a lot of women are into farming and many are willing to take up farming or Agri-business as a means of livelihood and self-employment.
However, they are limited in progress because they do not have the requisite skills and finance required to carry on successfully and even access markets, hence, the introduction of the programme by SMEDAN.
“The programme is designed to provide entrepreneurship training, vocational training, empowerment with common facilities and delivery of business development service to 80 participants per state across six selected states for phase one.
“Today, the first phase of the programme is commencing simultaneously in six states of Osun, Ebonyi, Katsina, Bauchi, Ekiti and Kwara.
“The WISE-P is designed basically to promote self-reliance amongst women and to empower them to achieve improved productivity and sustainability in businesses in terms of crop farming and agro-processing along the value chains.
“It is also to boost production of raw materials for industrial use, and development because it is said that when you train a woman, you train a nation and when you empower a woman, you have liberated the nation,” said the DG.
He further explained that all the beneficiaries would be empowered with the necessary support and equipment necessary to ease their means of doing business.
Fasanya also said that one of the objectives of the programme was to facilitate and link women farmers to resources required to enhance their farming businesses so as to make it a sustainable occupation.
He added that the programme was also to expose the women farmers to the practical hands-on training on the use of modern farming techniques as well as to build their capacities and inculcate the principles of value addition to farm produce.
Also speaking, Zainab Abdulkadir, one of the participants who spoke on behalf of others, appreciated the federal government and SMEDAN for the kind gesture.
She added that they got exposed to a lot of things they are supposed to be doing hitherto now but we’re being neglected by them.
According to her, they have acquired a lot of knowledge that would help them to improve their businesses and urged SMEDAN to help look into capital challenges faced by many women farmers across the country.