No fewer than 45,000 people have applied for the Agro Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) programme in Kaduna State.
Addressing the applicants on Tuesday in Kaduna, APPEALS Project Operation Manager, Dr. Salisu Garba, said they were screened after which 2,885 were shortlisted.
A total of 1,700 women and youth, including people with disabilities who have 5% reservations would also be selected, he said.
He explained that screening/interview process was in four stages, after which the successful applicants’ data would be captured and stored by the APPEALS and in the World Bank data desk.
“This is a new project built on commercial agriculture. The project is taking place in six states – Lagos, Cross River, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano and Kogi -with Kaduna, having the highest number with 75,000 forms collected.
The applicants were “screened based on the requirements; academic qualification, age, and residence in the state,”he said.
National Women, Youth and Livelihood Specialist, Elder Ronke Akanni said the applicants would be interviewed after which the successful ones would be expected to come up with their value chain investment plan to be funded by APPEALS Project. The support will be given through value inputs.
She said Kaduna State government has promised additional support to the APPEALS Project, adding that they expect that at the end of the six-year project, they would be able to sustain the programme.
Kaduna State APPEALS Coordinator, Dr. Aminu Yahaya, said the state government is interested in the project because “the objective is to promote food production, diversification of the economy, creating jobs, attracting investments and improving the livelihoods of the people.