By Nkiru Okeke
In a bid to improve the lives of older persons and engage them productively,
the National Senior Citizens Center, NSCC in collaboration with four agencies of the Federal Government have organized a two day capacity enhancement training for older persons in Agro business in Ushafa community, Bwari Area council of the FCT.
The training is aimed at institutional strengthening, capacity building, poverty alleviation, improving the quality of life and economic value of older persons.
To this end they were trained in Farming of maize, groundnut, cowpea and poultry under the umbrella of the “Ushafa Grandmothers multipurpose Cooperative Model”.
Addressing the participants, the Director General of NSCC, Dr Emem Omokaro said the initiative under the NSCC program of “Grandmothers Arise for Good Initiative”, would enhance the production capacities of Older Persons in Nigeria through agriculture using the “Social-Economic Entrepreneurial Model”.
Dr Omokaro noted that the beneficiaries who are largely non-pensioned members adopted the approach to agriculture to leverage resources from the community, the private sector, government and other partners to better their means of livelihood.
“Get them into multipurpose cooperative societies, get them health insurance, access to clean water, get them access to all good things of life, anything that is their right as bonafide members of Nigeria”.
“Thank God for our minister, Beta Idu for the old persons grant that they can receive for their life time,the concept is poverty alleviation”
On his part,the NSCC consultant of the project, Dr Roy Ndoma Egba stressed the need for effective collaboration by stakeholders to deliver on the project.
“We are trying to transit from informality to formality, we are here to create valuable economy for demography above 60 years in ushafa, the target is women but ushafa has a culture where their men support their women thus the percentage of the demography here is 60 for women and 40 for men.
“The target group has been clustered together into a multipurpose cooperative society called Ushafa Grandmothers Multipurpose Cooperative Model,” they are cultivatiing maize, groundnut, and cowpea, including poultry”, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiriaes, the Women leader, Mrs Laraba Bawa who commended the efforts of NSCC towards the project, pledged their total commitment and support towards full implementation of the project.
“She decided to put smiles on our faces here in ushafa, we are grateful and in return we are going to work hard, they have come to sharpen us, so we promise not to disappoint them, iron sharpens iron. The efforts they have put in this project will not go in vain, they have boosted our morals, the areas we don’t understand they have made us to understand better today.”
The training which had other government agencies as development partners, includes SMEDAN, FCT RUWASSA , FCT PHCDA and NIMC who took turns to make their presentation and commitments towards effective actualization of the project.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Safiya Wada
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