*Offers Grants, Export Options for Rural Produces
*Targets Women Cooperative/Commercial Farmers for Exportable Agric Outputs
From Ngozi Omah, Awka
THE Nigerian Export Promotions Council (NEPC) has in continuation of its drive towards sustained diversification of the nation’s economy through expanding and increasing of the non-oil exports for a surefooted general growth has been training rural women farmers and housewives on certain commercial agriculture produces.
The Anambra State Head of NEPC, Mrs Jane Ego Ehiri at a seminar organized for Anambra housewives held at the Abatete Civic Centre in Idemili North Local Government Area this afternoon to get back to the land and get busy with their hands.
The seminar which was jointly organized by Madam Chinyere Ibezim and Mrs Tonia under the Women-Girl Child Poverty Eradication Nig Initiative in conjunction with Ifemelumma Cooperative Society for select Anambra women/housewives would come up in batches, so as to get all rural women engaged in money-yielding ventures as added source of income for sustenance of their families.
Admiring some of the tailoring, weaving and beading products; as well as some agriculture output including palm oil, crayfish, dry/smoked fish by some of the participants, Mrs Ehiri said that the Council was aimed at getting every citizen especially women become self reliant.
That her office has continued to go round the state to sensitize, train and provide very substantial grants to individual women and those under cooperative groups to strengthen, expand and diversify their endeavors.
Commending those that displayed their products, the Head of the Anambra office of NEPC charged all the participants to attend the next seminar with their separate output. That it’s then she would know they were absorbing her messages.
“We are committed towards promoting steady increase of non-oil exports. That’s why we organize these trainings, capacity building, seminars and workshops.
“”We are encouraging all citizens to endeavor to be self-reliant, just like in the past -groundnuts pyramids in the North, Palm produce in the East, Cocoa and Rubber/Timber in the West and Mid-West respectively,” she said.
Ehiri disclosed that all companies involved in export business have been mandated to register with the Council and obtain products Export Certificate. That the registration and printing of the generated certificate are done online without going through any person or agent at all. That payment is done to/in any bank of one’s choice.
She warned that any such Certificate obtained through a third party would be rejected, hence valueless.
The women, Mrs Ehiri noted, enjoys a special Support for Women, but that all participants must register with the NEPC, and are free to organize themselves in groups under cooperative so as to qualify for grants that could be up to ten million (N10m) or more.
Under this Support for Women, “you can also request for experts from their office or other cooperating partners to come and teach/train you in any chosen area, free. We recently organized such special training for Palm oil production in Awka, when experts from the National Institute for Oil Research (NIFOR) came and taught participants.
She pointed out that any registered export participant who runs into any difficulty would be sorted out by the Federal Government, even if it’s with the foreign partners. Virtually all products that were hitherto looked down upon by the citizens were now exportable and yield huge returns in hard currency -pepper, orange, cucumber, zobo, uda, cocoa yam, different vegetables, potato, yam, cassava chips/pellets/flour/tapioca/garri/starch/glucose, kola-nuts, cotton fibers, cashew nuts, cocoa beans, gum Arabic, Egusi, sesame seed, lemon grass, shea nuts/butter, aloe Vera, bitter kola, ginger, coffee, etc. Some services exports like native Nigerian wears, Tailors, actors/actresses, hair weavers, Doctors, Nurses.