By Nsan Ndoma-Nsan, Calabar

A not-for-profit organization, operating under the aegis of Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta, PIND, has completed the training of 59,710 small-holder farmers/ MSMEs to cushion the socio-economic impact caused by outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

PIND’s Executive Director, Dr. Dara Akala, made the assertion while speaking on the foundation’s giant stride during the 2020 annual report of the organization, held in the region recently.

Akala, who spoke on the theme: ‘Resiliency and Results in A Pandemic,’ enumerated areas in which benefiaries capacity is built to include: good business practices and climate-smart technologies to enable benefiaries improve efficiency, boost productivity and income to mitigate effect of COVID-19.

The Executive Director maintained that in line with PIND’s desire to get the socio-economic problems caused by COVID-19 said that the organization decided to give assistance to multi-sector market actors, creating a joint-market response to the pandemic to lessen the negative impacts on thousands of poor smallholder farmers and small businesses within the Niger Delta region.

He said, “PIND’s continued investments in capacity building and our market-led, locally-owned solutions allowed us to respond to the pandemic to minimize its socioeconomic impacts.”

Akala averred that the support given to small-holder farmers in the riverine communities in the South-South would help to reduce the level of unemployment, poverty and make small business concerns bounce back on their feet.

Other issues tackled by PIND in the region include: fostering of stability, power coastal communities, youth employment, stimulation of enabling environment, withstanding the shock of the pandemic, amongst others.

He added, “In our efforts to reduce poverty in the region during the year 2020, PIND, through its Agricultural Market Systems Development program, reached 59,710 small-holder farmers and MSMEs with information on good business practices.

Other areas which the Executive Director said the organization helped the coastal communities include: the area of climate-smart technologies, improve their efficiency, productivity and ultimately income.

He enthused, “38,448 small-holder farmers and businesses reached, who adopted the improved practices, increased their combined incomes by over N11.4 billion.

“Seven hundred and two peace actors, under the umbrella of our grassroot infrastructure for peacebuilding – the Partners for Peace, P4P, Network, intervened to prevent and resolve 147 conflicts within their communities in the year 2020.”


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