UNDP and ECN supoprt rural farmers with 'green' agro-processing small-scale industriesJul 28, 2017
UNDP Nigeria, and the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) have partnered with Community-Based Women Co-operatives in developing Solar-powered agro-processing cottage Industries in Ebonyi, Benue and Nasarawa States. The rural and peri-urban communities in these states are primarily subsistence farmers with limited access to energy sources like diesel and petrol engines/mills to process their crops.
In Nasarawa State, a 10 kVA Solar-Powered Melon Shelling/peeling Cottage Industry was built at Ashangwa Community, Lafia LGA. This was in addition to another electrically operated Melon Shelling Machines that were installed to replace the highly inefficient petrol-engine melon shelling. With this equipment now set up, local farmers will not have to walk long distances to have the crop peeled as had been the case in the past. The factory currently serves over 187 households involved in melon shelling and processing.
In Ebonyi State, a 15 kVA Solar-Powered Garri-processing plant was built at Ngbo-Ekwashi community, Ohaukwu LGA., The project was executed in collaboration with the Ekwashi Community Women Empowerment Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society. A Solar-powered Water Borehole was also installed, very close to the garri processing factory to provide clean portable drinking water. This intervention will be supporting over 105 households with a population of 2,405 - with close to half them girls.
A similar project was implemented in Mbatyou-Mbateva Community, Buruku LGA, Benue State, which benefitted over 857 households.
The projects have empowered the community beneficiaries economically and created job opportunities for both men and women. In Ebonyi State, each beneficiary earns approximately, NGN70,000 weekly. 4 male beneficiaries are currently engaged as permanent workers to operate the machines in each of the states. The intervention has also gainfully employed a total of 150 women and children (50 in each State).