Bauchi begs Canada to expand poverty reduction programme

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Bauchi begs Canada to expand poverty reduction programme

Bauchi State Government is writing a formal request to the Canadian government to extend its Livelihood and Nutrition Empowerment (LINE) project, through Oxfam International, after six years of fighting hunger and poverty among the locals.

The LINE project by the Global Affairs Canada and Oxfam centres seeks to bring rural dwellers out of poverty and hunger.

Chairman of the Project Steering Committee, Mr. Idris Saleh, while on inspection visit to Gamawa and Shira with his team, yesterday, said the beneficiaries on the programme overshot the projected figure.

Speaking in Azare after inspecting the project, he said: “A component of the project has to do with Village Saving Loan (VSL), which affords local farmers financial inclusion and contributes funds for soft loans to improve agribusiness.

“On the nutrition component, Oxfam gives some farm inputs, mainly to women, for home gardening. Here, they are trained to plant nutritious food to avoid stunted growth of their children. There is also an influencing team that canvass support in the communities.”

Saleh disclosed that a proposal had been sent to Governor Bala Mohammed for onward transmission to the Canadian government on the need to expand the programme in Bauchi to cover other 14 local councils.

“We hope that this will be granted. We have seen a huge impact of this programme on our people. The projects have reduced the poverty level and exposed more villagers to dry-season farming,” he added.

According to him, there are about 200 farmers groups in each of the six local councils presently benefiting, while the state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oxfam, last week, to expand the projects to other 14 local councils.

The project was initially planned for 10,000 residents, but the demand from the farmers shot up the figure to 30,000, he said.

Bauchi LINE Project Coordinator, Samuel Lashom, said that Oxfam is particularly interested in fighting poverty and hunger and would be glad to have more programmes in the state.

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