Delta, UNIDO Collaborate To Develop Agribusiness, Others
Bee keeping, fishery and oil palm production are set to be boosted in Delta State as the government has reached an agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to provide technical assistance to promote agribusiness, agro value development chain and agro processes.
The agreement which was reached when Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, governor of the state, met with the leadership of UNIDO in Vienna, Austria also covers the technological upgrading for the production of footwear and leather goods as well as other products such as Akwa-Ocha fabric ethnic clothing brand.
The assistance on oil palm is for processing, packaging and the creation of market linkages for palm oil processing, vegetable (bleached palm oil) and palm kernel oil while that of fisheries will address the challenges associated with production through aquaculture and value addition via processing, preservation and market linkages.
The aid on apiculture will boost bee-keeping and honey production, processing and market linkages.
The agreement represents a deepening of the collaboration between Delta State and UNIDO as there is an ongoing project focused on the establishment of a footwear and leather goods training and production center in Asaba, the capital of the state.
UNIDO is expected to provide capacity building for the state's personnel in micro-credit models and operations as well as provide associate expert programme. Under the human capacity development programme, the UN agency will provide possibilities for prospective professionals and staff of the Delta State Ministry of Poverty Alleviation to gain valuable experience in the international environment.
The programme will give talented individuals from across Delta State the opportunity to pursue careers in development with hands-on experience in multi-lateral technical co-operation at UNIDO Headquarters in Vienna.
There is also an internship programme for Delta State students and graduates from diverse academic backgrounds geared towards promoting a better understanding of UNIDO's goals and objectives and as well as afford interns with an insight on how attempts are made to solve challenges confronting developing economies in the areas of industrialization, entrepreneurship and agribusiness.
UNIDO will also facilitate an exchange programme by creating learning and knowledge sharing platforms between designated ministries and staff of the Delta State Government and other institutes and centers of excellence from various countries within UNIDO network. The aim is to share and gain useful experiences in various aspects of SMEs' operations, management and funding.
Uduaghan's agreement with UNIDO is a continuation of his programme of providing sustainable institutional frameworks for small and medium scale enterprises to develop through access to cheap funds and expertise for better management of the businesses.
On Uduaghan's entourage to the meeting with UNIDO are the Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah; the Commerce and Industry counterpart, Dr. Kingsley Emu as well as that of Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Antonia Ashiedu.
On the UNIDO side Mr. Phippe Sholtes and Aurelia Calabro.
Under the Delta State Micro-Credit Programme (DMCP) the governor launched on December 14, 2007 over 111,000 people have been enabled to set up their own businesses by the end of 2013. The DMCP is to provide the micro-credit facility for the development, expansion and sustainability of micro-enterprises by facilitating the access of the economically weak and disadvantaged segments of the population to productive assets and services.