Saturday, 1st October 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

IFAD supports 35,000 youths to develop agribusiness

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
19 August 2022   |   10:32 am
The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) has supported about 35,000 youths across six states under the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) in the development of agribusiness and entrepreneurship activities. IFAD Country Director Ms. Dede Ekoue who disclosed this at the VCDP National Youth Forum in Abuja stated that IFAD has contributed to the promotion…

IFAD

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) has supported about 35,000 youths across six states under the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) in the development of agribusiness and entrepreneurship activities.

IFAD Country Director Ms. Dede Ekoue who disclosed this at the VCDP National Youth Forum in Abuja stated that IFAD has contributed to the promotion of sustainable youth empowerment in agribusiness and entrepreneurship program in Nigeria and over 35,000 youths participating in the project.

The benefiting states include Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, Anambra, Benue, and Ebonyi state.

She pointed out that the VCDP program had been implementing a robust youth empowerment program where the beneficiaries were segregated into producers, processors, and marketers along the rice and cassava value chains.

Ekoue pointed out that with Nigeria having 70 percent of the population under 30, and 42% under the age of 15, the country has the potential to expand its capacity as the regional economic hub of Africa and globally, using agribusiness, entrepreneurship, and technology to improve the livelihoods of youth and women, and thereby, enhance food security, boost economic growth, and access to decent employment.

She however regretted that despite the youthfulness of the Nigerian population, the average age of farmers in the sector is 60 years which implies that the agricultural sector is yet to maximize Nigeria’s
demographic dividend of the young population. Mobilizing youth for agriculture is critical for the transformation of food systems in Nigeria

To this effect, the IFAD Country Representative stated that IFAD alongside the Federal government has been co-financing projects that are youth-sensitive that promote sustainable empowerment of young men and women in agribusiness and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

She said in the Niger Delta region, IFAD alongside the Federal government is co-financing a 100% youth-sensitive project – the
Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) programme is expected to empower over 38,000 young men and women to establish and own agri-enterprises, among other youth-oriented programs.

The VCDP National Program Coordinator Dr. Fatima Aliyu in her welcome remarks stated that the aim of the youth forum was to give youths the opportunity to discuss key issues affecting their participation in agriculture and also deepen the efforts and contribution of the VCDP to the development and mainstreaming of the national gender and youth development policies and programmes of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Director of Project Coordinating Unit Engr Ularamu Ubandoma who represented the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development at the event stated that Ministry is has been implementing a robust national youth and gender policy aimed at empowering youth and women so as to develop the potential for growth and contribute to national developments.