Winners of USAID/Nigeria Covid-19 food security challenge emerged

By SDNonline

USAID/Nigeria has announced the selection of 32 winners of their COVID-19 Food Security Challenge.

The winning small and medium enterprises will receive awards totaling $4 million in funding and technical assistance to implement their solutions that improve food security in Nigeria.

12 winners are women-led businesses, 31 are new USAID partners.

This competition was run in partnership with USAID’s Exploratory Programs and Innovation Competitions (EPIC) Team in the Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub within the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation.

Nigeria currently faces a food security crisis that is compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has significantly disrupted already fragile agricultural value chains across the country, including smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, process, and distribute food. This disruption to agricultural productivity and limited access to markets has a negative impact on livelihoods, especially among the most vulnerable households, women, and youth.

To address this food security crisis, USAID/Nigeria, in partnership with EPIC, launched the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge in April 2021. The Challenge is partnering with commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies in Nigeria to improve food production, processing, and distribution. Over the next year, the Challenge will support the winners as they implement and scale their sustainable, local, and food-based models and increase incomes for smallholder farmers across Nigeria.

After receiving over 500 applications to the Challenge, USAID/Nigeria selected 19 youth-led companies (led by young people up to 29 years of age) and 13 mid-stage companies (with an existing customer base of at least 1,000 people) that are working across 33 states in Nigeria. USAID/Nigeria is proud to announce that 12 of the winners are women-led businesses and 31 of the winners are partners new to USAID. Some of the innovations that USAID/Nigeria is funding through this Challenge include online platforms that connect farmers to customers and services; access to solar refrigeration to extend the freshness of fruits, vegetables, and meat in off-grid communities; organic fertilizer made from converted biowaste; and micro-lending organizations to help smallholder farmers gain access to finance.

The winning companies will use USAID/Nigeria’s funding and technical assistance to rapidly expand their food production and food security activities to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s food value chain and improve the resilience of vulnerable households

IPC creates situation room on #EndSars anniversary coverage, tasks security operatives on finding missing journalist

{By SDNonline}

As part of efforts to ensure that any assault on journalists covering diverse activities to commemorate the #Endsars protest are well documented, the International Press Centre (IPC) has set up a situation room to closely monitor the safety and the rights of journalists and other media professionals in their coverage of the “One Year After the #Endsars Protest”.

This was stated via a terse statement by IPC. According to the statement, IPC can be reached concerning any protest-related incidents involving journalists on any of the following mediums:

Twitter: @IPCng
Facebook: IPC Nigeria
Hotlines : 08128241359, 08065327421

Earlier on, the organisation had expressed great concerned about the sudden disappearance of Vanguard Newspaper’s House of Representatives Reporter, Mr. Tordue Salem since last Wednesday, October 13, 2021. The organisatuon has tasked security operatives to carry out thorough investigations to unravel the circumstances on the sudden disappearance of Salem, who was reportedly last sighted within the premises of a Total Filling Station, opposite the FCT, Abuja Police headquarters on Wednesday evening.

IPC’s Executive Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, in a statement said that Salem’s disappearance is disconcerting and the search for him should be accorded high priority by the Police and other security agencies.

“In a country where the rights of journalists and media professionals are continuously violated, concerted efforts by relevant stakeholders are necessary to ensure that Mr. Salem returns to his family and beat safely, and that the safety of other journalists and media professionals is guaranteed,” he said.

IPC therefore appeals to the government and the security agencies to do all within their powers to locate Journalist Salem.

International Girl Child Day: CEE-HOPE launches female football club

By SDNonline

In commemorating 2021 International Girl Child Day, CEE-HOPE has launched its female football club called Carol Queens.

The first set of the team was drawn from communities across Lagos State with age range from 13-18years.
The organisation also launched its docu-drama entitled “Rape of Justice.”

According to the Executive Director, Betty Abah, the initiative is a way of inspiring the girls to believe in themselves.

“I believe there will be very big international stars from the team. I enjoin other girls who are strong and have stamina to join us instead of using their energy to beat their younger ones or fight in the neighborhood,” she said.

The team coach, Kudirat Kilani also encouraged the girls not to allow failure to hinder them but see it as a stepping stone in achieving their objective in life.

At the event which had in attendance girls from various schools, different speakers addressed the girls on the theme of this year’s commemoration, “Digital Generation. Our Generation.”

Telling the story of his daughter, who despite not making university entry examinations twice but with determination succeeded and now work in a reputable organisation, Lekan Otufodunrin, Executive Director, Media Career Development Network urged the girls to be determined and not allow anything to limit them.

He said, “gender is not a barrier. Be determined to achieve your goals. Read the people you want to be like. Be digital savvy and apply caution where necessary. Gender is not a limitation.”

On her part, Mrs. Mbanisi Sophy charged the girls to have role model and the fear of God which will make them to go places.

Abah explained that girls anywhere in the world matter and that they are the most endangered species. Adding, girls deserve care and their needs are not like others.

“Girls are like eggs they can be easily damaged. We work with children in marginalized communities.

No child deserves to be left behind. Everyone should see themselves as stakeholders when it comes to the girl child,” she said.

In bridging the gap for girls in the area of science and technology, she stated that though the stereotype is still there but the perception is changing in career gradually.

Other speakers include Anike-Ade Funke Treasure, Yinka Kenny, Rhoda Olorunfemi, Oluebube James and Amaka Nneji.