By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post) — The Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) through one of its subsidiaries, the LAPO Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative (LARDI) has spent a total of N2.2billion in empowering 92,156 farmers between January and May, 2017. Sabina Idowu-Osehobo, executive director, LAPO who made the disclosure during a two-day training for staff of LARDI said the beneficiaries are clients of the financial institution that engaged in agricultural activities.
Osehobo who was represented by Tessa AnotaAizebeokhai, manager planning , monitoring and evaluation, said the organization has over the years evolved robust , viable, well equipped institutions with systems and structures that are capable of delivering sound economic, social and health services in the fight against poverty While expressing the organization’s determination to address the problem of food security in Nigeria through rural agricultural financing, she noted that LARDI was entrusted with the mandate to improve the quality of life of rural dwellers through committed suppor t for livelihood activities intended to energize and drive the rural economy. Osehobo added that LAPO addresses challenges limiting farmers’ productivity and income such as nonavailability of inputs for improved farm yield and limited access to finance.
She posited that the LAPO organization equally builds the capacity of rural farmers through on-farm demonstration and training as well as developed recently a 5-year growth strategy with People, Technology, Products and Performance as strategic pillars. The executive director e x pressed del i g ht t hat beneficiaries of the financial empowerment who were hitherto engaged in subsistence farming have expanded their farm enterprises with improved income for their families and savings for future investment. She therefore, charged the staffs to remain guided by the organization’s core values of integrity, innovativeness, simplicity and excellence, which has continued to sustain the organisation.