The Oxfam’s Livelihoods and Nutritional Empowerment (LINE) Project being implemented by Oxfam in Bauchi State with funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is said to be aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of over 10,000 poor rural farming families in the state.
This was disclosed by Dr Francis Saayinzat, the LINE Project Team Leader, Oxfam LINE Project in Bauchi State while speaking on this year’s World Food Day themed: “Change the future of Migration, Invest in Food Security and Rural Development”.
Saayinzat said that Oxfam is working with local partners and local communities in more than 90 countries to overcome poverty and injustice.
“It is being implemented in the six local government areas of Gamawa, Shira, Darazo, Ningi, Alkaleri and Tafawa Balewa,” he said.
The LINE project is a 60 months project being implemented in selected communities across some local governments in the state. According to him, the project focuses on value chains of grains like maize, sorghum, sesame as well as dairy and meat production like beef, mutton and others.
He added that the main aim of the project is to increase output in selected livestock and crops value chains for the 10, 000 rural farming households and provide an enabling agricultural business environment as well as improve the nutrition of women and children in the targeted vulnerable farming households.
The LINE project team leader noted that the project will strengthen the capacity of key local partners, through skills improvement in value chain interventions, institutional capacities, analytical and lobbying and advocacy skills as well as their capacities in monitoring, evaluation and learning system to document impacts.
He observed that although 85 percent of the population is agrarian in Bauchi State, the budget allocation to agriculture over the years has not been more than seven percent.
“This contributes to making agriculture unattractive, especially to the youths. Again, women constitute over 60 percent of the agricultural workforce, adding that with the intervention of LINE project, about 73 percent of women are now involved in agriculture.
“Through LINE Project, 3, 165 farmers have been given farm inputs worth N79 million and the project hopes to provide inputs to an additional 7,000 households. The beneficiaries have gone through training on modern farm technologies as well as improved nutritional options,” Saayinzat said.
In his remark, the Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture Rural Development, Dr Bala Musa Lushi, commended the Oxfam LINE Project being implemented in the state and expressed optimism that it will improve farming activities in the state and address food security.
As part of the activities, Oxfam Nigeria, Bauchi State office, carried out a rally in Bauchi Metropolis and an Agricultural Show/Exhibition of Agricultural Commodities.
According to Oxfam, the rally through Athena streets in Bauchi was to sensitise people on the need for all stakeholders to strategise against hunger and poverty while the exhibition, was to showcase and exhibit agricultural products, abundant investment opportunities in the agriculture value chain and skills endowed in the rural farmers.
World Food Day is being celebrated worldwide on October 16th to show commitment to eradicate hunger and was first observed in 1979.