From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

It was all smiles for the 20 beneficiaries yesterday in Awka as Anambra State Governor’s wife, Nonye Soludo, presented to them the ten-million-naira agro support grant released by the first lady of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, through the Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme.

Mrs Soludo made the cash presentation at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, shortly after the team arrived from Imo State capital, Owerri, where the President’s wife presented the cheques to wives of the five South East Governors; who would personally present the grant to the beneficiaries.

The Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme is an agro-business fund for female farmers chosen from the five South Eastern states.

The maiden flag off ceremony of the programme, which took place at the Imo State Government House, Owerri, had a total of one hundred women, twenty each from each of the five states of the South East, who received five hundred-thousand-naira grant each to help their agro businesses.

Addressing the beneficiaries who were selected from the three senatorial zones of the state, Mrs Soludo urged them to invest the money wisely and reciprocate the trust that has been put in them with satisfactory results.

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She said that it is expected that the female farmers would use the grant to build agricultural investments that will improve the economic prosperity of their families and make a tangible addition to the economic growth of the state.

The Governor’s wife equally asked the beneficiaries to think organic agriculture while cultivating with the grant, pointing out that they cannot afford to use the funds to join in the proliferation of synthetic and unhealthy food products in the market.

The Anambra first lady also informed the beneficiaries that they would be carefully monitored to ascertain the progress of their businesses and how they are using the grants to maximize profits.

She said that about set of eighty female farmers would be selected, trained and empowered with startup stocks, equipment and feeds to start off poultry business; courtesy of the Renewed Hope Initiative Women Agricultural Support Programme supported by the National Agricultural Land Development Agency.