In a bid to boost food security, the Osun State government, in partnership with the World Bank has trained over 300 youths across the state on the FADAMA III programme.
Tagged FADAMA III AF Graduate Unemployed Youth and Women Support (FADAMA GUYS), the programme was designed to educate the youths on both theory and practical procedures in getting the best from various agricultural enterprises. The programme also focused on building the participants’ knowledge and capacity in managing their farming businesses if supported by the government.
The training programme afforded the participants drawn all council areas of state the opportunity to get first-hand training from experts in the agriculture sector. The participants were taught the rudiments of soil, fish farming, crop production, animal husbandry and other practical trainings as well as research experiments.
The programme, which held from July 17 to 28, also provided the participants a platform to write examination and business plans to be sent to the national headquarters of the World Bank in Nigeria to ensure they benefitted from the agency’s $200 million grant facilitated by the Osun State government.
At the closing ceremony held at the Conference Room of the Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where certificates were presented to the participants, representatives of the state government and technical facilitators for the training took turns to advise them. The programme Manager, FADAMA III AF in Osun State, Dr. Ganiyu Adediji, said the training was the first step in selecting the beneficiaries of the World Bank grant.
According to him, only 200 out of the 300 that participated in the programme will be shortlisted to benefit from the $200 million World Bank grant to begin their own businesses based on what they had learnt during the two-week capacity building programme.
Dr. Adediji urged the FADAMA GUYS to be proactive, resilient and put in good use the knowledge they had gained from the experts in order to make an impact in the society and be of benefit to themselves and their immediate families.
He, however, praised Governor Rauf Aregbesola for sustaining the programme, warning participants against sharp practices when utilising the funds to be given them as support grants.
The Programme Manager and Managing Director of Osun State Agricultural Development Corporation (OSSADEP), Alhaji Mukaila Omisore, who noted that the benefits of boosting national food security could not be understated, said a nation that is not capable to feeding its citizens is a failed entity. He, therefore, said Governor Aregbesola is in a right direction for creating a vibrant agricultural sector in Osun State.
In his speech, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof A.A. Amusan, expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government for supporting unemployed graduates and for providing opportunities for them to create jobs and guarantee food security for the nation. He also urged participants to carefully optimise the gains of their training.
Two of the participants, Adekunle Babatunde and Ajagun Jumoke, on behalf of others, expressed their readiness to make reasonable impact on the society.
Prof. Duro Oyedele and Prof. Akeem Tijani were among the training facilitators at the programme.