FMARD and World Bank’s APPEALS project seeks IITA collaboration
A team from the Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project’s National Coordinating Office (NCO) and Lagos Project Office, visited the IITA Headquarters in Ibadan on 28 August. The purpose of the visit was to explore possible areas of collaboration with IITA.
APPEALS is a project of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture funded by World Bank. It is a six-year project from 2016 to 2023 and currently operating in six states of Nigeria: Cross-River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, and Lagos. The project has five components: Productivity enhancement, primary processing and value addition, technical support, project management, and infrastructure support to agribusiness.
The project aims to empower 60,000 people across the six states (10,000 from each state), particularly women and youth, and 5% for persons with disabilities and special needs. The APPEALS project is the only project presently handling empowerment of the disabled. APPEALS decided to work with IITA because, as a World Bank funded project, professionals are being engaged and IITA is recognized as having high professional standards in the agricultural sector.
Heather Akanni, the National Women and Youth Livelihood Specialist of APPEALS, who led the team said, “I was excited when I heard of IITA facilities such as the Business Incubation Platform and Youth in Agribusiness. We are looking at IITA assisting us with capacity building, financial support, and mentorship in helping the beneficiaries sustain the value chain they have chosen.”
Hassan Aliyu Hayat, Head Livelihood Development, APPEALS National Coordinating Office also said, “I believe if we partner with IITA, our beneficiaries will get the best.”
After a tour of IITA facilities and technologies, the team expressed their interest in partnering with IITA in areas such as Women and Youth Empowerment as well as technical support.
Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General, Partnerships for Delivery expressed satisfaction with the idea of collaboration. “IITA will greatly like to partner with the APPEALS project. The youth program can tailor-make programs that suit your objectives,” he said.
The management of APPEALS confirmed it will meet to finalize the decision.