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Food Shortage: Caritas Offers 2,000 Badagry Farmers Improved Seedlings, Inputs

Not less than 2, 000 farmers in Badagry, Lagos State Have benefitted from the humanitarian act of the Catholic Caritas Nigeria, as they were offered improved seedlings of corn, groundnut and sprayer equipment in order to increase their yields and in turn curb the challenge of food shortage in the country.

The Caritas Nigeria, a non-profit organisation, with focus on lifting the poor in the society, formed by the Nigerian Catholic Bishops Conference, carried out the act at the flag-off of the body’s second year rural and vulnerable community project christened ‘Building Sustainable Livelihoods in Vibrant Community (B-SLiC)’ meant for the states of Lagos and Ekiti , South-West Nigeria. The programme subtitled ‘Climate Smart Agricultural Approach’ was implemented based on the needs assessment of the people, trained farmers on the production of or ganic fertiliser, pesticides, and herbicides, animal feeds using available materials and methods of application on crops to get desired result.

The Priest in charge of St Anthony Catholic Church, Kwene Badagry, Lagos, Rev. Fr. Rome NdiOnyekuru (SMA), at the event, said that celebrating a Mass to flag off the programme, was an act of gratitude to God. He noted that the gesture was from those who have those who do not have to make good out of life.

Ndi-Onyekuru urged the beneficiaries to ensure the inputs were put to good use in order to increase their food production and live above hunger, stating:“I have blessed the inputs and the hands of the persons that will make use of them, for God to multiple and expand, for the benefit of mankind. I thank the sponsors of the project, the Conral Hilton Foundation of the U.S, for their thoughtfulness in remembering the poor people. people have accepted for instance the fuel subsidy has to go.

“They have accepted that the issue with regards of the activities of CBN are necessary for the survival of the finance and the rest of it. That is given; but I believe that our government needs to take a better and more critical view of the impact that it is having on the citizens of this country.” Continuing, he said: “This is because any policy that is supposed to have a long term effect and does not take cognisance of the present day and life of members, aw that policy and decision needs to be reviewed in such a way that people do not die while they are waiting for the long term effects. “It is my expectation to see that you grow in social status with the proceeds and, in like manner, assist others around to be part of the gesture in years to come.”

In his remarks at the event, the Executive Secretary of Caritas Nigeria, Dr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina, said that the body, with its goodwill, would continue to impact lives in special ways. Obodoechina, represented at the event by the Caritas Senior Advisor, Humanitarian Services, Mr Friday Alhassan, urged the beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by ensuring that they did not sell the items, but make the best use of it. He said that the organisation would deploy field and extension workers to assist the farmers in areas they found difficult and also monitor the advancement of the programme in the community with a view to getting an evaluation.

Also speaking at the event, Chief Michael Avoshe, the Traditional Head of Topo, Badagry, said that the beneficiaries were the most vulnerable in the community who owned farmlands. Avoshe, a representative of the Oba Akran of Badagry, assured that the community leaders would be mandated to render every assistance to the officials of the programme to see it grow. He, thanked the Caritas Nigeria for finding the area worthy to implement the project. Also, speaking at the event, a beneficiary, Mr Bayo Shonke, said that the programme would aid beneficiaries grow in productivity. Shonke, commended the organisers for the up-to-date training and the selection of those he called “core farmers”, as partakers of the project.

Meanwhile, the organisation had earlier in the week carried out the same programme at the Ikorodu area of the state, where 2, 000 farmers were offered same inputs.

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