Wednesday, January 6, 2016

FG, AfDB to spend $300 million on empowering youths in agriculture business

The African Development Bank (AfDB), on Wednesday, announced plans to spend about $300 million on the Enable Youth Empowerment Agribusiness Programme, in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Chief OAudu Ogbeh; credit: Twitter/NGRSenate
Chief Audu Ogbeh; credit: Twitter/NGRSenate
Nigeria’s ministry of agriculture and rural development is putting in place the modalities for the implementation of the project within the next 18 months.
AfDB’s director of Agricultural and Agro- Allied Industries, Dr Chudi Ojukwu, said the three-year project would enable training and funding of young graduates, who are interested in farming across the country.
The programme is expected to encourage youths into agriculture, thereby increasing food sufficiency and reducing unemployment, with each recipient to benefit $75,000.
The minister for agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, was quoted in a statement by the agriculture ministry’s director of information Tony Ohaeri, on Wednesday, in Abuja, to have said that the project would commence from the three Federal Universities of Agriculture in Umudike, Makurdi and Abeokuta.
A part of the statement read: “a total of US$300 million would be accessed to cover the three year project which would bring young graduates together and train them for 18 months as entrepreneur farmers.
“The initiative would create 250,000 jobs; the beneficiaries would be trained at various incubation centres on all aspects of value chains, with each beneficiary of the project supported with about US$75,000. The project would cover the 36 states including the FCT, while the Agricultural transformation Agenda (ATA) would be expanded through the processing zones.”
Ogbeh also emphasized the need for the three universities of agriculture to revert back to the provisions of the Act that established them to contribute to efforts to re-invent Nigeria’s economic strategy.
The minister further promised to collaborate with representatives of AfDB and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), who came to present him with the concept note on the youth agriculture scheme.
Story: The Nation