The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Moore Plantation Ibadan in partnership with Sen. Kola Balogun representing Oyo South Senatorial District in the National Assembly who is the facilitator of the programme has empowered no fewer than 100 youths participating in a three -day capacity and empowerment programme in Agriculture which began in Ibadan today, Tuesday, 19th of January, 2021.
CEOAFICA reports that the programme was organised by Institute of Agriculture Research & Training and facilitated by Sen. Kola Balogun, representing Oyo South Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
In her welcome address, Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, (IAR&T), Professor Veronica Obatelu said the empowerment training programme was timely in view of the national clamour for diversification into agriculture.
Professor Obatelu who said the institute possesses the expertise to boost agricultural production commended the senator for giving back to his constituency.
Speaking with CEOAFRICA, the Executive Director of IAR&T, Prof Veronica Obatolu commended Senator Kola Balogun for facilitating the empowerment programme. She said if politicians will embark on empowering the youths through agriculture, Nigeria will solve the issue of hunger in the country.
‘I thank the distinguished Senator Kola Balogun for facilitating the capacity building and empowerment programme on agricultural entrepreneurship for 100 youths and farmers in Oyo South Senatorial District.
I want to call on other stakeholders to partner with IAR&T to train and empower more Nigerian youths as the institute has the capacity to train 500 youths in a month while observing COVID-19 protocols.’
Prof Obatolu urged the participants to take advantage of this empowerment programme to become employers of labour.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Senator Balogun said that the training and empowerment became necessary due to the high rate of unemployment among Nigerian youths.
According to him, the programme will train the youths to acquire some skill in Agriculture.
“I’m excited about this programme because when I think about the rate of unemployment among our youths, I get worried.
“I realise that one of the ways to tackle this is to train and empower our youths so as to be entrepreneurs and also become employers of labour.
‘We have been talking as a nation to expand our channels of income aside oil and gas. We can look at agriculture as when there was no oil it was agriculture that sustained us as a nation,”
The next capacity building and empowerment in partnership with IAR&T will be much more bigger than this.’ He said.
“This program is coming up now because I have seen and realised that agriculture is the only way to solve youth unemployment in the country,
The Deputy Director of IAR&T, Dr Jelili Saka said the empowerment programme is very timely, he urged the participants to take advantage of the start-up to be wealth creators.
Prof Olukemi Lawal, Head Agric Entrepreneurship Development Centre, said the training programme is packaged with the best instructors to make them leading players in Agric business.
Prof Olukemi further stated that the institute under the leadership of the First Female Executive Director, Prof Obatolu has the capacity of training more than 500 youths in a month during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking with CEOAFRICA, Dr Adedayo Adetumbi said the facilitator of the empowerment programme has given the participants source of income which if well managed will make them to be employers of labour.
The three-day capacity building and empowerment programme on agricultural entrepreneurship for 100 youths and farmers in Oyo South Senatorial District is being coordinated by Dr Jelili Saka, Deputy Director, Prof Olukemi Lawal, Head Agric Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Dr Adedayo Adetumbi, Dr Oluwole and Mr Odebode.
The event which was held at the Institute of Agriculture Research and Training saw some participants pledging to make judicious use of the training for their economic emancipation.
Equipments distributed at the program include; cutlass, wheelbarrow, fish rearing tank, fertilizer, maize, goats, yam seed, among others.
CEOAFRICA gathered that the empowerment is multi-million-naira project and the participants were selected from Oyo South Senatorial District.