By Bashir Bello, KANO
Over 40,000 youths in Kano State are to benefit from an agribusiness innovative approach training designed to take them out of unemployment circle and make them self reliant, the State Coordinator of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Nathaniel Malgwi has said.
Malgwi stated this during the launch of the training for the first cohort of 1,300 youths under the programme tagged “Young Africa Works project-IITA” which has a life span of five years.
He said IITA designed the project to address unemployment, unemployability and on the other hand support food security.
The state coordinator, however, urged the youths to change their mindset towards the agricultural sector in order to explore benefits available in the sector.
According to him, “Agriculture as an essential driver of employment that offers unique opportunities to secure employment, mindset changing activities is crucial.
“This is because young people think agriculture is a backbreaking job which does not produce quick returns when compared to other sectors of the economy.
“Companies such as Julius Berger is not only working on the construction of roads as it has diversified into agriculture. Talk about Doctors, Lawyers and many more are now venturing into agriculture too,” he said.
The state coordinator further said, “The programme aims at given youths an innovative approach training in agribusiness.
“In the next five years, we are targeting to train in Kano over 13,000 youths beneficiaries directly and over 26,000 beneficiaries indirectly.
“In the first year, we are looking at the possibility of training over 3,668 youths. This cohort of the training we are looking at 1,300 youths across the value chains of soya beans, sweet potatoes, rice, horticulture (vegetables), fishery and poultry.
“This is not a business as usual as we know the youths unemployment. IITA designed the programme to address unemployment, unemployability to make them become self-sufficient, employers of labour and to support food security,” the state coordinator, Malgwi however said.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor who doubles as the Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna described the programme as a welcome initiative particularly that it aimed at tackling rate of unemployment and support food security.
Gawuna represented by Dr Afeez Muhammad, however, expressed the state governments readiness to support the programme to attain the set objectives.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the training is been implemented in three states of Kano, Kaduna and Lagos with a target to benefit 40,000 youths directly and 242,724 indirectly of which 70% are women.