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Agriculture: France adopts Anambra poly to train South-East women

The Anambra Polytechnic in Mgbakwu has been selected as one of the centres for implementing the Women in Agricultural Technical Education and Apprenticeship in Nigeria (WATEA-Nigeria) project in Southeast for two years.

Njideka Chiekezie, the Acting Rector of the institution, said this on Tuesday after playing host to a team from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs who were at the polytechnic to inspect the agro facilities.

In the delegation were Rachid Benlafquih and William Gex from France, Sonia Darracq, the French official to the France Embassy and WATEA liaison officers to Southeast and South-South, Emmanuel Oludayo and Juliana Ukonze.

Ms Chiekezie said two centres were selected in the South-East to launch the WATEA project, which the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs would fund. 

She expressed delight that Anambra Polytechnic was among those chosen to implement a project of such magnitude while assuring that the institution would relentlessly provide a conducive atmosphere for teaching, learning and research, especially in the agriculture sector.

She said the facilities inspected were the Greenhouse, the ultra Modern Garri Processing Unit and the Fish Pond. 

“The institution was chosen because of its potential to sustain the project owing to the competent experts who can handle the training and the availability of modern infrastructures which the French government will improve on,” she said.

Ms Chiekezie said the project aimed to strengthen the polytechnic’s agro-facilities by improving what was already in existence and linking the colleges in France with the colleges in Nigeria, focusing on women.

The institution was chosen because of its potential to sustain the project owing to the competent experts who can handle the training and the availability of modern infrastructures which the French government will improve on.

She said it would also provide Agro-preneurship support and development and introduce France’s apprenticeship structure.

WATEA-Nigeria is a 2-year project implemented by IITA-CGIAR, sponsored by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs via the Embassy of France in Nigeria.

The project’s main objective is to promote the development of technical and professional skills of young women and directly align them with the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agri-food sector.

The WATEA was strictly gender-based, with women constituting 80 per cent of the expected 500 youth trainees.

Other states selected for the project include Kano, Jigawa, Oyo, Kwara and Enugu. (NAN)

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