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IITA partners Oyo to tackle youth unemployment

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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is partnering Oyo State on the use of technology in agriculture to address the challenges of unemployment among the youths and shore up food production.   
    
The Coordinator for Technologies for Africa Agricultural Transformation, IITA, Dr. Chrys Akem, revealed this during the IITA Enable-TAAT Open Day held at the Oyo State-IITA Youth Agribusiness Park Centre, Awe where the Institute showcased new technologies in the agriculture farming system.
   
Akem, who observed that the daunting problem of unemployment among the youths in Africa is huge, said the state government had begun to rip the benefits of the researches that were undertaken by the agricultural institute.
 
He said that TAAT, which is funded by the African Development Bank, bordered on the relevance of technology in building agriculture, adding, “there is a lot of research going on over the years. They end up in bookshelves and the farmers are not feeling the impact. This particular project is to look at all the technologies that have been developed to see how we can transform them into reality to transform agriculture in Africa.
   

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“This kind of programme is being implemented in about 29 African countries and Nigeria is just one of them. It is to make sure that Africans feed themselves. The key message is to look at agriculture as a business. On this occasion, we have youths who are testifying on how rich they have become through agriculture. We want more youths to come into agriculture. We have more youths out there who are jobless.
    
“IITA as an institution has a campus but we collaborate with the government. We are based in Oyo and we have the advantage that this park is owned by the state government.

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We have signed a memorandum of understanding to train Oyo youths in agriculture. We are trying to build resilience in Africa youths on an improved agricultural system. 

“Part of the philosophy of this project is to reach out to the communities to demonstrate some of the technologies that are available so that the people of the community can use them to meet their needs and to improve their livelihood and well-being. This agricultural hub is owned by Oyo State. They have come into partnership with IITA to see how we can use this centre to train the youths in various aspects of agriculture so that they can take agriculture as a business.”

Training at the centre covers both the theory and practical aspects of agriculture to build young farmers.

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