Ondo State Government has trained 18,000 youths on various agriculture businesses through a programme of Ondo State Agri-Business Empowerment Centre (OSAEC) tagged: “Youth on the Ridges”.
The Governor of Ondo state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who launched the training at the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, described agriculture as a major sector that creates job.
Akeredolu said that the initiative was a proof of his administration’s commitment to ensuring food security and job creation.
The governor, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to take the initiative as a limitless possibility to greatness.
“No serious government can be comfortable with the present rate of unemployment. So, there is need for our youths to be engaged in modern agriculture,” the governor said.
He promised to make land and funds available, saying that there was money meant for agriculture that was yet to be tapped.
The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on agriculture, Mr Akin Olotu, explained that the programme would rewrite the story of farming and farmers in the state.
Olotu said that the governor’s vision to ensure agro-preneurs was becoming a reality.
He urged the beneficiaries to be focused so as to stand out in their chosen profession “as history beckons on them”.
The Senior Special Assistant said that the beneficiaries would be empowered to take advantage of all links on the agricultural commodities to become employers of labour.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adegboyega Adefarati noted that the programme was designed to improve on food production and arouse interest of the youths in agriculture.
“Our aim 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.
Dr Samson Odedina, Provost, Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, thanked the state government for the initiative, saying it would go a long way to encourage young people into agriculture.
Odedina promised that the college would train the participants on attitude, increased productivity and cost reductions
The trainees were drawn across the 18 local government areas of the state.