The Ogun state Ministry of Agriculture have unveiled plans to train 3000 youths on Tomato, Chilli pepper, leather and garment value chains in other to tackle unemployment rate in the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Samson Odedina disclosed this today during a Multi-annual programme estimate (MOPE) in launching of the Nigeria competitiveness project (NICOP) for Lagos and Ogun state farmers in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The programme was launched with the financial support of European Union in Nigeria and in agreement with all the executive and commissioners of Agriculture.
According to the NICOP Executive, they analysed on the importance of the programme, which support to policy infrastructure, identified clusters of traditional fabric, access to finance and planting of our perishable crops.
Dr. Odedina explained that by training youths on the tomato and other perishable crops saying that, it will tackle unemployment in the state.
His Lagos counterpart, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Lawal Gbolahan hinted that the programme is very important not only for Ogun state but to Lagos at large.
Meanwhile the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun represented by his deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, pointed out that his administration’s commitment towards providing a more prosperous life for the citizens of the State, had continued to receive the approval of both national and international agencies.
“NICOP programme is designed to improve the performance, growth and contribution to industry, regional trade and exports of selected value chains and to improve the climate for business at the national and regional levels, with emphasis on four selected commodities, which are tomato/chili, ginger, leather and garments.
“For us in Ogun, this project could not have been more timely. It will no doubt be a great complement and boost to our administration’s ongoing Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) on agriculture. The ABP is designed to stimulate activities along key commodity value chain in our dear State”, he said.
He revealed that plans to establish a joint development commission for the infrastructural development of border towns between Ogun and other sister States had reached an advanced stage.
Also speaking, the Minister for Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, represented by a Director in the Ministry, Alh. Mohammed Abubakar, said competitiveness was key to achieving sustainable development, expressing optimism that NICOP would generate positive impact, when the four selected commodities were developed, especially now that the economy was being diversified from oil.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, said the strategy the State government was working on productivity of farmers and link them to opportunities, including the industrial process, create jobs and promote industrialisation of Agriculture through PPP.
According to him, “in the state today 56,000 young people have registered for our Anchor Borrower’s programme and this feat is unprecedented, while the number is still growing. We have cleared lands in 25 locations and provided seedlings for them. We have two reasons for doings these, to help the 56,000 by linking them to industries to give them jobs, so that they can continue to create the value chain opportunity and allow them to go and explore the value chain opportunity’
Also speaking, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said the project would enhance the country’s integration into the regional and international trading system, stressing that if attention was not paid to the off stream sector of Agriculture, there shall be chaos, as the market was very key in the agricultural space.
In her address, representative of GIZ, Mrs. Emma Odondo, said the presence of GIZ in Nigeria has contributed to the agricultural value chain development, adding that the agency was reinforcing its presence in Ogun and Lagos with several programmes to include; the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) and Green Innovation Centres for Agriculture and food security (GIAE), as well as working on selected value chain such as Tomato , Pepper, maize, ginger, rice, potatoes, sorghum, cocoa and many more.
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