BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
More than 100 trainee Cross Riverians have benefitted from the Federal government agricultural scheme under the National Directorate of Employment..
This was disclosed in Calabar yesterday by the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment Dr. Nasiru Ladan Mohammed Argungu.
He was in the state to flag off the programme, tagged: “Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme” (SADTS) in Nde, Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State.
According to him, the Scheme is very beneficial and timely as it is targeted at empowering unemployed youths with passion in agriculture with skills that will turn them to commercial farmers. To create more jobs, provide adequate and dependable farm income and also reduce commodity importation as well as conserve our external reserve.
The Director General, who was represented by Dr. Sylvester Ekemhonye said “today, we are witnessing the flag off of the sustainable agriculture development training scheme in the 36 states of the federation.”
The training, he said, involved a three (3) main approach namely, two weeks adaptive field training crops/livestock which the community have comparative advantage. and training farmers mentorship and linkages with Development and money deposit banks.
Lastly, he said “off-takers will be identified within the locality to reduce the risk of produce glut in the market.”
“Be reminded that the NDE of today has zero tolerance for corruption, they will not entertain any indulgence from staff, but please note that hard work and diligent will be greatly rewarded.”
“The vision of President Muhammed Buhari’s administration for agriculture is to work with key stakeholders, and build an agribusiness economy, capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, generating exports and supporting sustainable income and job growth.” This policy thrust of the federal he said has opened opportunities for youths to embrace agriculture as a business, earn income as well as create mass employment.
In a welcome address by the State Coordinator of NDE Cross River State, Mr. Gabriel Udam, he said today in Cross River State and in all states across Nigeria, the NDE is empowering 100 trainees in agribusiness. This concept, is to increase mass production of agricultural products and distribution system.
According to the State Coordinator, the concept is born out of the desire of the federal government to ensure that unemployed youths of the country are exposed to the heights of self reliance through agric-production, marketing and storage.
Udam further said that at the end of the three months, the trainees will be exposed to preparation of a breakable business plan which will enable them access credit from financial institutions.