The Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Nteranya Sanginga disclosed on Sunday that Federal Government of Nigeria is set to launch N59.7 billion Youth-In-Agriculture Scheme in September.
During an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan, Mr. Sanginga said the agriculture scheme would be sponsored by both the federal government and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
According to the Director General, IITA would train beneficiaries on how to make agriculture a business with good networking. Mr. Sanginga said the programme tagged “Enable Youth Empowerment Agribusiness Programme,” will engage youths in agribusiness for 18 months to enable them learn how to make agricultural business plan.
Each of the beneficiary, he said, will be given between 25,000 US Dollars and 300,000 US Dollars as loan to set their business after the training.
“The programme started by IITA in 2012, was taken over by the federal government and AfDB to create employment in agricultural sector. To support this objective, the programme will be extended to 36 states and Abuja in September.
“After the programme, we expect the youth to become chief executive officers of factories, companies and creators of jobs rather than job seekers.”
Mr. Sanginga encouraged the youth all over the country to develop positive mindset in agriculture and take good advantage of the programme.
“They should be serious with the training because at the end of it only those who did well will be rewarded,” he said.
The federal government since last year has launched a lot of projects to empower Nigerian youths. The ‘YES’ (Youth Entrepreneur Support) project of BoI, among others, was also part of federal government’s youth employment scheme, aimed at creating about 36,000 jobs annually for more than 40 per cent of Nigerian graduates without jobs as against an average of eight million Nigerians who enter the job market annually.