No fewer than 10,000 youths in Katsina State will be enrolled in the Nigerian Government’s Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) to reduce unemployment in the state.
Mr. Ibrahim Shehu, Managing Director, Katsina State Agricultural Development Authority (KTARDA) said in Katsina at the closing ceremony of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) training organized for NYSC members.
He said that the AADS is aimed at providing employment opportunities to unemployed youths nationwide, adding that the engagement of the youths in the programme would boost agricultural production and enable the country to promote food security.
Shehu said that under the programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would give loans to the beneficiaries in each of the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He noted that state governments are expected to provide one hectare of land for each of the beneficiaries to enable them to cultivate selected crops in which the states had comparative advantage.
According to him, Katsina State has selected cotton and maize for cultivation by the beneficiaries.”The state government will start with 1,000 youths as a case study, so as to identify the perceptible challenges which should be rectified,’’ he said.
Shehu said that the programme would start during this year’s dry season.
Mrs. Ramatu Sanda, the Katsina State NYSC Coordinator, said the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme was designed to equip the corps members with entrepreneurial skills.”As you all know, white-collar jobs are no longer available but with the SAED programme, beneficiaries would acquire different skills to establish their own businesses which will improve their economic well-being,’’ she said.
Sanda said that over 60 per cent of the ex-corps members have established businesses within and outside the state, with the support of the CBN.