The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has inaugurated the maiden Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI) Women Agricultural Support Group programme for the Southeast to boost food production.

Senator Tinubu, who performed the take-off of the programme in Owerri, the Imo State capital, said the gesture was in fulfillment of the Bola Tinubu administration’s commitment to promote women farmers across the country.

The First Lady said the RHI was committed to supporting women farmers with the broader national agenda to strengthen the agricultural sector.

She said: “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 Renewed Hope Initiative is supporting 20 women farmers per state with N500,000 each.”

The First Lady announced that N10 million would be given to beneficiaries in each of the five states in the Southeast through the RHI state coordinators.

On the other hand, she said the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), in partnership with RHI, would support extra 80 women farmers together with 20 women farmers per state, making a total of 100 women per state, to get financial support.

Senator Tinubu said the beneficiaries in Imo State would start their training programme this week while other beneficiaries within the region would begin their capacity training as scheduled by NALDA.

The First Lady assured the women that they would get agricultural inputs, such as fisheries (50 fingerlings and feeds for each farmer) and poultry (25 three-week old birds) and feeds for every poultry farmer.

She said those engaged in arable farming would get improved cassava and a bag of fertiliser for every agrarian farmer.

“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,” the First Lady said.

Senator Tinubu also announced that the RHI Social Investment programme would empower 100 persons with disabilities in Imo State to become small business owners.

She said they would get N100,000 each to recapitalise their existing businesses.

Governor Hope Uzodimma, who noted that the struggle for food security must be a collective effort, expressed confidence that the empowerment of the rural farmers would contribute to food sufficiency in the state.

Also, NALDA’s Executive Secretary Paul Ikonne said the agency was “committed to partnering with the wife of the President to making sure that we lure our mothers and young women into farming”.

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