The National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) says it is partnering with the Anambra State Government to establish agribusiness ventures in the state.
Mr Kehinde Aremu, the NYSC Anambra State Coordinator, disclosed this in an interview with the in Awka.
Aremu said that the agribusiness venture would start with poultry before expanding to aquaculture and other agricultural branches aspects such as livestock and crop production.
“The NYSC agribusiness venture will begin with poultry because Anambra State is already doing well with the establishment of the largest poultry project in Africa, realising that market for poultry products is large.
“There is huge demand for protein and eggs; so, venturing into this sector ill even boost the home-grown school feeding programme of the Federal Government.’’
The state coordinator said that interested NYSC members and youths who enrolled into the programme would gain practical experiences in animal husbandry as they would be adequately trained on ways to make agriculture a profitable business.
He explained that those to benefit would also easily access loans to finance their ventures as NYSC already had financing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Agriculture on zero per cent interest rate.
Aremu, who said he had participated in many agro workshops within and outside the country, noted that his office was waiting for action by the technical committee set up by the Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture for the take-off on the venture.
“We are waiting for a more visible action from Anambra Government to enable the agribusiness venture to fully take-off.
“Everything needed to drive the venture had been put in place, realising that one of the best ways to take youths out of the streets is to introduce them to agriculture as both wealth and job creation windows.’’
He noted that what before now had discouraged Nigerians from embarking on agriculture was convincing them to do it with machete and hoe after they had gone to school.
Aremu said that studies had shown that in other countries, agriculture ran the economy and prospered the people, adding that such practice could be replicated in the country.
According to him, agriculture is one of the cardinal activities of the NYSC as the corps had farm settlements in Kwali (FCT), Ezillo (Ebonyi), and Bauchi.
“In Anambra we are looking in that direction because the state has agriculture as a cardinal policy and NYSC wants to introduce the youths and corps members to agriculture in a symbiotic way.’’
Aremu observed that because land was a challenge for large-scale farming in the state most of the youths went into trading.
He, however, added that if the youths were trained on modern agriculture which did not require large expanse of land, they could make more prospects.
“Under the skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), I was in China alongside other Africans in 2017, where we studied how China feeds its large population in spite of inclement weather and other natural factors.
“The take home is that you don’t need much land to make it in agriculture this time, and your collar doesn’t necessarily have to be black;, all you need is good knowledge of the science of farming’’,