03 November 2013, Lagos – In just three years of existence, the Chevron Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta, PIND, has achieved laudable projects that has brought about development in the Delta region.
Chevron Nigeria Limited launched the initiative in 2010 in support of the Federal Government peace process in the Niger Delta.
Supported by the Chevron Nigeria’s parent company, the oil industry giant Chevron Corporation, the foundation is a non-profit organisation serving as an operational entity and funded by the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, NDPI.
Specifically, PIND was established to help alleviate poverty and promote peace in the Niger Delta region by building dynamic, innovative programmes and multi-stakeholder partnerships that provide broad stakeholder support for projects in four main focus areas – economic development, capacity building, peace building and analysis and advocacy.
In May 2012, PIND opened the Economic Development Centre, EDC, in Egbokodo, Warri, to serve as a coordinating hub for development activities in the Niger Delta. In the short time since commencement of operations, the EDC has been serving as the physical and intellectual hub for PIND’s Economic Development programmes.
PIND has chosen to use agriculture as one of the arrowheads of its programmes.
Within the EDC’s economic development programme are three value chain projects currently in their pilot phase, aimed at creating jobs and increasing income for Niger Delta residents through improved growth, productivity, and efficiency within the aquaculture, cassava and palm oil agricultural sub-sectors. These sub-sectors were selected based on their growth potentials and the involvement of large numbers of the poor.
Within the past one year, PIND has worked with a 550 member fish farmers’ association in Warri, Delta State, on a demonstration pond project to help instill best practices in the lucrative and popular venture of catfish farming, while partnering with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, to strengthen their fish farming businesses using the National Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum, NAEC.
PIND has also embarked on a fish feed market study on behalf of the Delta State Government to help it formulate evidence-based policies on interventions in the fish feed industry in the State.
It has also embarked on market development for the cassava sector, helping establish linkages between small-scale cassava farmers in the Edo State Cooperatives Farmers Agency to a large scale cassava processing firm (Thai Farms) and banking institutions, to ensure a guaranteed market for cassava farmers to boost income and increase in-country demand for cassava.
PIND is also working with Lentus Farms to select and deploy appropriate technologies in the establishment of micro processing centres for processing cassava at or near the farm gate.
Another project undertaken by the initiative is the pilot training programme with the National Institute for Oil Palm Research, NIFOR.