The Ogun State Government says it is targeting no fewer 50,000 people, mostly youth, to benefit from its various agricultural projects in the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Adeola Odedina, disclosed this during the flag off of the second phase of the state’s broiler project at Eweje Farm Settlement in Odeda.
Mr Odedina said the state was partnering with the Central Bank’s agro-processing firms and other stakeholders to venture into various agricultural productions such as poultry, cassava, rice, millet and maize among others.
He said the government has already started land preparations for more than 23,000 youths who had registered for cassava production.
The commissioner added that the state would be supporting farmers with farm inputs, land and loan facilities among others.
He disclosed that in the first phase of the broiler project, 54 youths raised 54,000 broilers while the second phase was also expected to turn out another 54,000 broilers.
Mr Odedina disclosed that the second phase of the broiler production would produce over 110,000kg of broiler meat, adding that this would further reduce the dependency on foreign poultry products.
“We have been very successful in raising young people as pilots to introduce or stimulate the interest of other young people in the poultry value chain.
“The first set of beneficiaries are 54 youths, tendering 54,000 broilers with profit of an average of N130,000 in six weeks.
“We have been reliably informed by the youths themselves that in this round, they are targeting over N200,000 in six weeks.
“These youths are supposed to go for four rounds or five, every six weeks and each beneficiary would be earning about N150,000.
“I think that is a very good way to start with the youths and because of this pilot phase, over 9,000 youths have registered with the Ministry of Agriculture to participate in this opportunity given by the Ogun State government in the poultry value chain.
“We are going to replicate this in all the agricultural zones in the state. We have the applications already and we are working on the pens.
“We are also working on infrastructure, while the CBN and other banks are ready to support other youths with credit.
“The off takers and processors are also ready to partner with us,” he said.
Omolara Mafe, one of the beneficiaries, commended the state government for the opportunity and urged the youths to embrace agriculture.
Miss Mafe, a graduate of Accounting, said she would be making N200,000 at the end of six weeks when the broilers would be sold.