The Lagos State Government is collaborating with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC) to train 13,548 youths in the various agricultural value chains in a five-stage model within the next five years.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya disclosed this on Monday at the opening of the Young Africa Works Agribusiness Internship Orientation Training held at the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority, Oko-Oba, Agege.
She noted that participants of the training programme would be trained in order to build skills and secure fulfilling work opportunities within the agriculture value chains, adding that the Young Africa Works Project of the IITA is a strategic approach to agribusiness training to arouse the interest of youths and teenagers in the agricultural space for a decent living.
According to her, the IITA would provide skills to over 40,000 youths and enable 242,724 young women and men across Nigeria to secure dignified and fulfilling work in the agricultural value chains within the five-year model, revealing that, in Lagos, a total of 13,548 youths including 3,120 secondary school students would participate in the Programme.
“I have been reliably informed that IITA seeks to provide skills to over 40,000 youths and enable 242,724 young women and men to secure dignified and fulfilling work in agricultural value chains in a five-stage model within a period of five years. Specifically, for Lagos State, a total of 13,548 youths including 3,120 secondary school students are expected to participate in this Programme”, the Commissioner averred.
Olusanya disclosed that the State Government’s interest in the partnership is hinged on its goal of recruiting more youth, teenagers and women into the agricultural space to replace the ageing farmers as well as to increase food production, create employment opportunities, alleviate poverty and boost income generation in the State.
She stated that programmes, such as the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (L.A.P), the Lagos Food Production Centre, the Schools’ Agricultural Programme (S.A.P), the Summer School Programme, the World-Bank assisted FADAMA and APPEALS Projects have been carrying out a series of training, especially for the youth and women, to ensure increased food security in the State and reduce her level of dependence on other States for food.
The Commissioner said “This training capacity building programme is a step in the right direction and it is in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda where agriculture constitutes a major part of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy”.
“What we see is that we have a huge population of youthful people most of whom are not gainfully employed and with the skillset deficiency required, especially in a space like agriculture. With this initiative to train over 40,000 people in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna, specifically 13,548 in Lagos, we believe that we should be able to close the gap around the deficits we have in our food supply system,” she asserted.
She explained further that these initiatives of the State Government have indeed provided different platforms for youth engagement through training, capacity building and empowerment in different Agriculture value chains thus contributing to job creation, youth empowerment and poverty alleviation.
Olusanya commended the novel strategy being offered by the combined efforts of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Africa Projects Development Centre (APDC) to train the youths.
“The Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture is, therefore, delighted to be a part of this laudable programme as it is very much in line with our aims and objectives. I wish to congratulate and commend the organisers of today’s programme on the implementation of this initiative in Lagos State and urge you not to relent in your efforts. You can rest assured of the support of the Lagos State Government at all times”, she said.