NGO trains 100 Rivers women in mechanised garri processing

No fewer than 100 women in Abua/Odual Local Council of Rivers State have been trained on mechanised garri processing for them to have viable sources of livelihood.

The women, including 70 widows, 30 young single mothers and school dropouts, benefited from the training organised by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Voice for Empowerment Advancement Nurturing Initiative (VEANI).

Executive Director of VEANI, Veronica Joseph, who spoke at the two-day event, said that after the training, the women would be clustered in five groups of 20 each to form a cooperative society, adding that they will be linked to other markets.

According to her, the training, which was funded by European Union Act and jointly implemented by the British Council, was designed to allow women in rural areas to have a strong means of livelihood, and viable income and boost food production.

Joseph said that the rural women generate the agricultural produce that feeds the nation, adding that her goal was to bring out the potential in women to seize their economic opportunities by learning how to boost their productivity and maximise income.

She said: “Women have a good potential for greatness but they need a little push. We chose the rural women because they are the ones that generate the agricultural products we use in feeding the nation.”

“But these women have no access to good market to increase their sale. The women are still adopting the crude methods of processing garri. The world has gone digital and the women need not continue with the old ways of producing garri.”

“By the new mechanised method of producing garri, they can produce about 10 tonnes of garri in a day and this will boost their revenue generation.

“We want to ensure that women living in rural areas, especially widows, single mothers and young girls who dropped from schools, have a viable source of livelihood.”

Meanwhile, participants, who spoke with The Guardian, expressed gratitude to the organisers, saying that the training will boost the economy of the state and their families.

One of the trainees, Oyani Martins, said: “I am a school dropout and one of the selected young girls that will benefit from the programme and with it, I am hopeful that I can earn money and return to school.

Also, Tamunokari Rita, a farmer, said: “We are thankful for the organisers of this programme. Before now, we have been asking for a helper because we, mostly the women and widows, are really suffering. This is like a prayer answered with this training.”

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