By Hassana Yakubu
Kaduna, Nov. 2, 2020 The Kaduna State government is currently training 1,700 women and youths in the state in different aspects of farming aimed at improving capacity, creating wealth and employment.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hajiya Halima Lawal disclosed this on Monday in a document made available to the journalists in Kaduna.
Lawal said beneficiaries will be trained in production, processing and marketing in relation to dairy, ginger, tomato, rice, wheat, maize, poultry aquaculture, cassava and cashew value chain.
She said the move has become imperative so as to reduce unemployment and restiveness among the youths in the state.
According to her, Kaduna State offers a wide range of opportunities with its rich soil and arable land, mineral resources and competitive advantage in production and processing driven by increasing demand for domestic food consumption.
” Agriculture in Kaduna State is the largest employer of labour with more than N 1.3 million households and 42.40 per cent of the work force actively engaged, accounting for about 36.69 per cent of the state GDP,” Lawal said.
She also announced that the state government in partnership with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and MasterCard Foundation is also implementing the five years “Young Africa Works” project.
Lawal said that under the Young Africa Works initiative, the strategy is aimed at building the capacity of 5,000 youths in the state in agribusiness.
“The initiative is envisaged to provide training and create agricultural job opportunities for Kaduna state youths in the area of production aggregation, quality assurance, trucking, distribution and financial service.
“The project will support the youths to secure employment or be self-employed through entrepreneurship in Kaduna, Kano and Lagos states over the next five years,’’ she said.
According to Lawal, the project will leverage and scale existing IITA youth initiatives, including the Start Them Early Programme (STEP).
STEP is a mechanism that improves agricultural instruction in secondary schools in a manner that better directs career paths toward modern agriculture and agribusiness.
The Commissioner disclosed that the project is currently at discovery stage and, youths across 23 LGAs of Kaduna State are registered and provided with unique logins.
Lawal stated that about 18,000 young men and women across the 23 local government areas of the state are the direct beneficiaries of the programme.
NAN reports that the MasterCard Foundation’s strategy will enable 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work over the next 10 years.
It will also create job opportunities for over 10 million young Nigerians, the majority who are young women, by 2030.