FG trains 400 unemployed youths in agriculture

The Federal Government is training 400 unemployed Nigerian youths in agriculture as part of its efforts to meet up the Millennium Development Goals, a statement said on Tuesday.

The statement by the Head, Public Relations, Protocol and Advancement Unit, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Mr. Ismail Olawale, said the training, which started on Monday, would last for two weeks.

According to the statement entitled, “Specialised training on agricultural extension service delivery for unemployed youths in Nigeria,” the training is organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Millennium Development Goals Office.

 “After the training in Zaria, the participants will again be exposed to another one week of practical training in their various states,” it said, adding that the trainees were drawn from the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by the State Agricultural Development Projects.

Explaining further, it said the participants, who would be trained in two sets of two hundred, were expected to undergo training in agricultural extension service delivery and agri-business skills “as envisioned by the Agricultural Development Agenda document and the operational dictates of the value chain in agriculture.”

The Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services, Ismaila Ilu, was said to have advised the participants to view the training as an opportunity to better their lives and that of the entire nation.

He was quoted as saying that theoretical understanding of development issues, especially in agriculture, without the practical exposure, was not enough to empower any individual, which was why the training would focus on the practical aspects through visits to rural farmers.

The statement said that Ilu commended the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, for recognising the potential of NAERLS to train the youth, while urging the participants to be inquisitive in order to get the best out of the training.

“The success of any extension work requires critical probing through genuine interpersonal discussion and the exploitation of other communication channels by the extension agent,” he was quoted as saying.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, who was represented by the Regional Director, Mr. Nyam Leo, was said to have advised the participants to take advantage of the training and empower themselves.

She stressed that the future of agriculture in Nigeria was dependent on training and equipping young people to practise agriculture with modern skills, adding that extension services were critical to the success and sustainability of such venture.

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