SMEDAN, NCRI empower Kebbi youths, women to boost small businesses, agric
Over 80 youths in Kebbi State have been empowered to boost their small scales entrepreneurship by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SIMEDAN).
Speaking to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, while presenting support to the beneficiaries at the agencies premises, yesterday, the agency’s Director Policy, Advocacy and Coordination, Mr. Monday Ewans, explained that the gesture was to enable the beneficiaries feel the impact of government.
Similarly, the National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, in collaboration with the National Assembly, held a three-days training workshop on agro-business and empowerment for rice farmers, youths and women in rice value chain for states in the northern region.The workshop, which took place at Far Hotel Bardariya in Birnin Kebbi, was aimed at supporting youths and women farmers across the region.
According to Ewans, 40 youths across Gwandu emirate and another 40 from Argungu emirate are to benefits from the first phase of the programme, with the release of N40000 to either boost their small business or to start up.He said other programmes, especially in the area of agriculture, were also planned to give the youth a sense of belonging to enable them become useful to themselves and society.
Ewans explained that the agency was in collaboration with the state government to ensure complete success of the programme, adding that only Kebbi and Anambra states were so far been selected for the programme, while others would follow soon.
He called on the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the funds given to them, adding: “We expect you to utilise this funds so that in near future, you too can employ labour and become masters.” He warned that staff of the agency in respected states had been mandated to pay regular visits to the sites of the beneficiaries to access progress.
Ewans commended the state government for the cooperation the agency received during and after the exercise, assuring of the agency’s readiness to always partner with state governments for the success of all its programmes.
Governor Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, speaking at the NCRI workshop, said the massive rice production was the only remedy in reducing youth unemployment in the country, adding that agriculture is a lucrative business that earns people a lot of money.
Bagudu, represented by Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Garba Dandiga, pledged his administration’s readiness to provide all the necessary tools and enabling environment for the sustainability of rice production in the country.
In his remark, the NCRI’s Head of Station, Dr. Philip Audu, said the training would give the participants more opportunities in their farm production, adding that agriculture would reduce unemployment and increase food production in the country.Participants were drawn from Borno, Katsina, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa and some parts of the north.