Lagos state government has reiterated its commitment to the promotion of Youth Empowerment Scheme that would expose youths and students to modern agricultural and value chain skills and methods in the post COVID-19 era.
Abisola Olusanya, State Commissioner for Agriculture, stated this while speaking at the opening ceremony of the a Five-day training in the coconut value chain for student nurses in the State at the Farm Service Center, Oko-Oba, Agege titled; “Integrating Coconut Value Chain into the Entrepreneurship Course for Student Nurses in Lagos State”.
The initiative was a collaborative effort of the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) and Lagos State College of Nursing (LASCON).
Olusanya, who was represented by Yemisi Rosiji, Director, Administration and Human Resource, said that the training was a sub-set of the Schools’ Agricultural Programme (SAP) which was conceived in 1989 in order to support the educational sector in the areas of capacity building and direct intervention.
“This initiative is basically a sub-set of the Schools’ Agricultural Programme (SAP) of the Ministry of Agriculture which was conceived in 1989 in order to support the educational sector in the areas of capacity building and direct intervention.
“I am delighted to note that the SAP is extending her tentacles to tertiary institutions in the State with no other value chain at the centre, but Coconut which has been variously tagged the ‘Tree of Lagos State’.
“This training is one of the outcomes of many efforts of Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture on Youth Empowerment Scheme designed to, among other things, expose youths and students to modern agricultural and food value chain skills and methods.
“The aim is to empower them with sound practical knowledge if they choose agriculture as a profession or as a source of additional income to whatever choice of carrier they may pick later in life,” the Commissioner asserted.
Olusanya stated that participants would be trained on modern techniques for coconut oil processing (hot and cold pressed), techniques for coconut flour production, production of coconut snacks such as coconut flakes, chuk-chuk, gurundi, as well as agro-business development skills with the use of the Nigerian Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum kit.
She noted that the training would awaken the subconscious of student nurses for self-employment, equip them with the skills needed and expose them to the hidden treasures of the economic and health values of coconut.
Earlier, Olufunsho Orenuga, Provost, Lagos State College of Nursing, Igando, commended the State Government for creating a platform to train students in the coconut value chain to have an extra source of income.
According to her, the concept of entrepreneurship is a ‘new normal’ in the educational sector adding that it had always been a part of the educational curriculum but only trivialised.
Orenuga said that the process of revamping the core curriculum which was designed to address societal needs was what gave voice to the need for entrepreneurship.
“The advent of the pandemic has also made many things that we have overlooked, more glaring and it has exposed voids and emphasised our non-preparedness especially in the area of entrepreneurship,” Orenuga said.