Delta state flags off youth agricultural entrepreneurs programme

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By:Bamidele Fashube

The Delta State government through its Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, has flagged off the 2020/2021 Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme, (YAGEP) cycle.

The programme is aimed at creating jobs and wealth by training, establishing and supporting youths to become agricultural entrepreneurs who would be gainfully self-employed and employers of labour.

While addressing beneficiaries, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer of the State, Prof Eric Eboh, said the orientation and Farm Enterprise Training, (OFET) was organized to enrol and familiarize  beneficiaries with the principles and methods of YAGEP with special reference to key management topics and issues such as critical success factors in farm enterprise management, farm records and accounts, managing risks and uncertainties in agricultural production and agricultural insurance by Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.

According to him, the YAGEP has run five successful cycles with a total of 1,174 beneficiaries who were trained, established and supported in various agricultural enterprises including poultry, crop production, piggery, fish production, agro-processing and agribusiness, from 2015 to 2020.

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He said the programme was in its sixth cycle adding that 400 beneficiaries would be enrolled in Fish Production, Poultry, Piggery and Crop Production out of which only 158 of them in Crop Production were present for the first batch of OFET.

“The 2020-2021 cycle is the 6th consecutive run of the programme. Specifically, it will cover a total of 400 youth agricultural entrepreneurs in the Brown YAGEP category.

“The programme commences with Orientation and Farm Enterprise Training (OFET) for 2020/2021 Brown YAGEP beneficiaries (1st Batch) holding today 25th of May 2021.

“The enterprises covered in the 2020-2021 programme cycle are poultry, piggery, fish production and cultivation of arable crops including cassava, yam, maize, rice, tomato, okra, watermelon, pumpkin and plantain.

“The farm enterprise training workshop will be followed with the provision of support packages to the beneficiaries such as fertilizer; animal feeds; crop agrochemicals; livestock vaccination; cash to pay for critical farm labour in land preparation; weeding; animal husbandry and harvesting; innovative production technologies and profitable agribusiness depending on the type of farm enterprise,”he said.

He further added that  the programme was categorized into two namely Green YAGEP and Brown YAGEP.

In his explanations, he said the Green YAGEP involves youths who were freshers in agricultural enterprises but require training in a chosen agricultural skill followed with the provision of facilities, materials and financial support to start-up and run an agricultural enterprise.

On the other hand, he said Brown YAGEP involves youths who already had agricultural skills and own agricultural enterprises but needed refresher training in practical and managerial skills plus support packages to grow and sustain their existing enterprises.

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