Nigeria – GPA funded an agribusiness project in the Okwangwo villages of Nigeria. 63 youth were taught beekeeping, snail farming, cultivating fruit trees and farm development practices with the goal of reducing poverty, teaching entrepreneurship skills, microenterprise, conservation education, computer training and providing much needed food security.
“The project does not only provide opportunity for selected youth to generate income and manage this profitable enterprise but also contribute to the development of the target villages. Aside from beneficiaries, some person had short term employment as they were engage in construction of snail pens and bee hives. In addition, the grant proves to the management of CRNP that there is always alternative to every problem. A peace meeting was held and issue about use of resources in the park by youths was discussed and this grant showed a way to the park management to contribute to the development of enclave villages” Louis Nkonyu, Director
“On behalf the beneficiaries and my communities, I sincerely want to thank the GPA for this support. It really wonderful to know that without known our problems previously you were able to judge our proposal to be worthwhile and provided this funds which has not only benefited the selected youth but also serve as roadmap for conflict reduction over the use of forest resource between the protected area authority and local people.” Louis Nkonyu, Director
In October, 2014 GPA awarded a second grant in the amount of $9794 to support and expand this project. TOCS social entrepreneurs began their expansion by processing the byproducts of harvested honey creating candles and wax goods. Youth developed better processes for growing mango seedlings shortening their growth time and maturation process yielding more product in the marketplace. The group introduced new species of snails to their operations. 40 additional youth were trained and the program continues to thrive. Moreover, the development of business enterprises eliminated ongoing conflict with the Cross River National Park Government officials over use of the natural resources bringing peace and sustainability to the region.