The quest to get more Anambra youths involved in Agriculture as a gainful means of livelihood, over the weekend gained momentum as the leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria in the state, paid a consultative meeting to the Anambra FADAMA coordinator, Mr Chuks Egbue.
The meeting which took place at the FADAMA office, State Ministry of Agriculture, Awka, witnessed fruitful engagement between the FADAMA team and the State NYCN delegation led by the Council Chairman, Surv. Emeka Obi.
A major highlight of the meeting was the agreement by the state FADAMA coordinator, to link the various LGA coordinators of the NYCN with FADAMA facilitators in their respective areas.
The initiative is to ensure ease of access to agricultural empowerment programmes of the government.
Addressing the meeting, the State FADAMA Coordinator, Mr Egbue while immediately approving the link-up between the NYCN Coordinators and FADAMA facilitators, said youths in Agriculture will develop the sector more than it is now.
“I want to welcome the leadership of Anambra youths to the state FADAMA office.
“I am particularly happy that the Youths leadership in Anambra is coming to terms with the true ideals of youth movement, which is to empower and mobilize the young people to participate in not just governance, but also in meaningful ventures that can impact their lives positively.
“Youths are innovative, dynamic and also possess the capabilities to broker arrangements in terms of off-taking of farm produce and other aspects of agriculture involving use of ICT.
“That is why we need them to drive the technologies and other innovation in Agriculture.
“Agriculture is the greatest employer of labour and when we channel the youths in the country to that very important sector, we would have reduced the rate of unemployment in our society,” he opined.
He also explained that the idea of linking the facilitators to the NYCN coordinators is to sensitize the youths at the grassroots, to position themselves to benefit maximally from government agricultural initiatives by ensuring that they meet all the criteria for accessing such packages in the state.
Egbue disclosed that the FADAMA programme is presently disbursing agro support to farmers at the grassroots, in the areas of cassava, rice, maize and poultry.
“Our approach is community-based and that is why we require our facilitators to go to the communities to educate the youths on the initiative and how they can be qualified for the programme.
“I need you to carry this message that youths are our primary target to the grassroots, so that your people will understand what is happening,” he explained.
He assured: “The synergy will happen immediately because we want to partner more with the youths and you have shown interest.”
The state FADAMA boss urged the youths not to allow politicians or enemies of their progress to use money to derail your vision, advising them to refuse the antics of the politicians to use them for destructive ventures.
In his speech, the Anambra NYCN Chairman, Surv. Obi said the collaboration with FADAMA marks a breakthrough in his administration’s efforts to secure better partnerships that will yield in improved living condition for Anambra youths.
Obi, who expressed appreciation to the FADAMA for underscoring the importance of youths in driving the 21st century agricultural transformation initiatives, assured that his leadership will follow through and ensure that the partnership is seamless.
According to him, Anambra youths are progressive and willing to participate in any gainful venture that will alleviate their sufferings.
Obi however pleaded that the processes and requirements for accessing the agro support be simplified, to enable more youths qualify.
“I am very optimistic that what we have achieved today with this FADAMA partnership is the beginning of greater accomplishments for our young people.
“When I ran for the post of Chairman, Anambra Council of the NYCN, I had a vision to explore every positive vista of empowerment for the benefit of our youths.
“Today, I am happy we have secured something within a short time of assumption of office.
“This will complement efforts of the Chukwuma Soludo administration towards lifting Anambra youths from poverty.
“It gives me greater joy that this programme is community-centric meaning that the major beneficiaries will be our young people at the community level. For me, that’s quite commendable.
“I want to assure FADAMA that NYCN with its various arms at the grassroots, will mobilize our youths to sufficiently benefit from this initiative,” he promised.
The Anambra NYCN helmsman appealed to the FADAMA to continue to avail Anambra youths the opportunity to benefit from more of the initiatives of the programme, assuring that the youths will not disappoint.