Group Disburses N2.5bn To Boost Rural Agriculture

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The Lift Above Poverty
Organisation (LAPO) has disbursed N2.5 billion loans to improve the food security of rural farmers in its 2014 financial year.
The figure represents 74 per cent increase over the sun of N1.4 billion disbursed to them in 2013 under the LAPO Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative (LARDI), according to its website report obtained by our correspondent.
The Executive Director of LAPO, Mrs Sabina Idowu-Osehobo expressed delight that the beneficiaries who were hitherto engaged in subsistence farming have expanded their farmlands, thereby leading to improved income for family upkeep and savings for the future.
She said LAPO addresses challenges limiting farmers’ productivity and income such as non-availability of inputs for improved farm yield and limited access to finance.
The LAPO boss added that the organisation builds the capacity of rural farmers through on-farm demonstrations, workshops and training programmes.
Most of the beneficiaries who spoke to newsmen expressed their satisfaction with the services provided by LAPO.
The goal of the programme according to Idowu-Osehobo is to improve the income, food security and general living conditions of the poor rural farmers, especially the women headed house holds and youth.
Meanwhile, the LAPO has screened 126,705 clients for malaria, blood pressure, BP, Hepatitis, diabeties and other ailments in 2014 to ensure that farmers were healthy to enable them engage in the business of agriculture.
This, according to the organization, was to improve early detection and management of common diseases common among farmers in the country.
Health Manager of the organisation, Ayobani Honestus Obadiora said those with special health conditions were referred to government approved health facilities for treatment.
He added that Non-Communicable Diseases, NCD, were responsible for about 20 per cent of deaths and 60 per cent of admitted patients in most tertiary hospitals in the country.