No fewer than 18,000 youths , randomly picked across 18 local government areas, were trained by Ondo State Agri-Business Empowerment Centre (OSAEC) on various agric-businesses tagged Youths on the Ridges.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony on Thursday at Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, said that it was a great initiative by the state government.
Akeredolu urged the beneficiaries to take the initiative as limitless possibility to greatness.
The governor noted that the flagg off ceremony confirmed determination of his administration to ensure food security and job creation.
According to him, agriculture is one major sector that creates job.
“No government can accept the present rate of unemployment,hence need for our youths to be engaged in modern agriculture.
” Build enterprise that can sustain you by forming partnership.
” Be positively engaged on your targets and admiration so that your goals will not just be a mirage,” he urged.
He promised to make land and funds available, saying that there was money meant for agriculture that was yet to be tapped.
Mr Akin Olotu,the Chairman of OSAEC and Senior Special Assistant to the governor on agriculture, stated that the programme would rewrite the story of farming and farmers.
Olotu said that the governor’s vision to ensure agro-preneurs was becoming a reality.
He said that the beneficiaries should be focused,tasking them to stand out as history beckoned on them.
The OSAEC chairman opined that the beneficiaries would be trained, motivated and empowered to take advantage of all links on the agricultural commodities to become employers of labour.
He asked them to maintain a positive attitude and adopt proactive stance against all odds.
In his words, Otunba Adegboyega Adefarati, the state Commissioner of Agriculture, said the programme was meant to empower youths in agricultural business.
Adegboyega noted that it was deliberate way to create awareness on improved food production and to arouse the interest of the youths in agriculture.
“Our main is to increase food production in the state and promote youth employment by engaging 18,000 youths across the state.
“The governor has created enabling environment for youths and women to take up career in modern agriculture, ” he said.
According to him, it will go a long way to improve food security, eliminate hunger and produce agro-preneurs across the agricultural value chain in the state.
One of the partners of the initiative, representative of Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN), Mr Kola Oyedokun, said that CBN was partnering and supporting the state government to ensure the success of the programme.
Dr Samson Odedina,the Provost of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, thanked the state government for the initiative that would encourage young people in agriculture.
Odedina promised that the college would train the participants on attitude, increased productivity cost reductions, thanking the governor for giving agriculture a new look.