Agric Supply Gaps: The Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, (FECA) has commenced the training of 350 unemployed graduates and other interested youths to meet up the demand and supply gaps in agriculture.
The Federal Government through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) sponsored the free vocational training as part of the efforts by government to provide employment for unemployed youths through poultry and fish farming.
While declaring the Category A and First Batch training for the unemployed graduates, practising farmers and other stakeholders in Akure recently, the Provost, Dr. Samson Odedina, said there is huge profit to be made by the beneficiaries.
“Demands have been created and gaps in supply have no been met in these areas. Profitability and demand for these products and related services are real and not in doubt,” he said.
He expressed delight at the level of response by Nigerians who are genuinely interested in taking advantage of the Federal Government renewed commitment to use agriculture as a means of empowering youths through various agricultural value chain job opportunities.
“The college’s past trainees and present practitioners in cassava, poultry, fisheries, agricultural mechanization, food processing and agricultural value addition are now millionaires and are making decent money in these areas,” he added.
According to him, the trainees, who came from 11 states of the federation would be awarded certificates after the training and would be given inputs as well as stipends to start their own business.
He added that the college had been awarding National Diploma and Higher National Diploma to students and vocational training to other graduates in other discipline.
The Provost, who lauded the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh for maximum support, urged the trainees to conscientiously make use of the opportunity of the programme to be self-reliant and employers of labour after the training.
The Ondo State Branch Head of the BOA, Mrs. Mariam Obada, said the programme was an initiative of the Federal Government to tackle youth unemployment in the country.
Obada said the BOA would assist each of the trainees with agricultural inputs and small money to pay for labour when they start their own business.
“This is a very serious business, the Federal Government is not joking about it, we are here to support those who want to go into farming, the BOA would assist the trained farmers with 80 per cent of the inputs and 20 percent of money to pay for the their labour when they want to start their own farming business,” she said.