By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€”As part of the post-amnesty arrangements and in its determined efforts to engage the youths of the Niger Delta, the New Partnership for Africaâ€™s Development NEPAD has said it would engage 15,000 youths in establishing integrated farms in the three senatorial districts of Rivers State.
The agency explained that it was partnering with the stateâ€™s Social Rehabilitation Committee to reintegrate and rehabilitate the ex-militants, adding that it was making concerted efforts at encouraging youths to engage in agriculture to bridge the unemployment gap.
Special Adviser to the Rivers State governor and state coordinator of NEPAD, Dr. Tex Wariboko, told the press in Port Harcourt yesterday that there was need to train a new generation of farmers by teaching young people new methods and ways of farming, thus creating viable means of generating revenue and food productivity
Wariboko said, in addition to involving the youths, the outfit was â€œworking on involving all sectors of society in farming, with a view to implementing its agricultural plan by engaging necessary skills and expertise in food production”.
Currently, he said, the agency was working on its action plan in infrastructural development, capacity building for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), agriculture, education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Wariboko said it was basically creating partnerships and synergies to involve all sectors of society in raising the living standards of the people.
He disclosed that NEPAD was also dealing with climate change and pollution, as captured in its environmental action plan, stressing that the effects of climate change was impacting negatively on the agricultural sector.
Wariboko appealed to the Federal Government to address the negative impact of oil exploration on the Niger Delta.