Food Security: ATASP-1 trains 200 youths in agribusiness incubation

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By Bukola Adewumi

The Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme (ATASP-1) says it will train no fewer than 200 youths from seven states in agribusiness incubation along the value chains of rice, cassava and sorghum.

The training is in partnership with ABOMAX, a firm that provides services in agribusiness, among others.

Ms Heather Akanni, Project Manager, Youth in Agribusiness Incubation, announced this at the inauguration of the workshop on Youth in Agribusiness Incubation on Tuesday in Abuja.

Akanni said the programme was aimed at contributing to the Renewed Hope Agenda on food security, food safety through improved and gender friendly technology.

She said the strategy was to catch youths and get them involved in agriculture with the hope of monitoring and linking them with relevant institutions and organisations in scaling up food production.

According to her, the programme will deliver three mandate value chains of cassava, Sorghum and rice across the four zones of Adani-Omor, Bida Badeggi, Kano – jigawa and kebbi – Sokoto.

“The incubatees would be taken through various modules in line with the value chains to effect inter personal relationship among the young agribusiness partners,’’ she said.

Dr Adekunle Alege, National Agribusiness Specialist, ATASP-1, said the strategy was to promote the growth of self-reliant small-scale business model among incubators.

He said the programme’s core mandate crops included rice, cassava and sorghum, adding that the training was to re-orientate youths about agriculture.

Alege said that the Federal Government unveiled the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to attract private sector investment in agriculture and reduce post-harvest losses.

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“Also to add value to local agricultural produce, develop rural infrastructure and enhance access of farmers and other value chain actors to financial services and markets,’’ he said.

The National Project Coordinator, ATASP – 1, Dr Muhammad Arabi, said the beneficiaries would undergo two weeks training where they would be trained to become entrepreneurs.

He said the beneficiaries would acquire capacity in production, processing and also to increase their income generation and reduce unemployment in the country.

Dr Rotimi Matthew, Director General, Chartered Institute of Mentoring and Coaching Nigeria (CIMCN), said the objective of the training was to enhance food and nutrition security, alleviate poverty, as well as creating employment and wealth.

He said the training would help the beneficiaries get access to financial services and create a bond among the incubators.

Dr Bukar Musa, the Director, Project Coordinating Unit of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), said the aim of the programme was to unlock jobs for youths.

He said the ATA was set to create over 3.5 million jobs along the value chains of priority agricultural commodities of rice, cassava, livestock, oil palm etc.

Musa appealed to the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity, saying it would help them be employers of labour. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng).

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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