Adeosun visits IITA, advocates youths engagement in agric
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun has identified youth engagement in agriculture as the main key to job creation and food security in the country.
Adeosun, who led other officials of the ministry to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, to learn about the IITA Agripreneurs Program (IYA) and the African Development Bank-funded Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment (ENABLE Youth Nigeria) program, said the Federal Government is considering adopting the programme.
“I came with my team to IITA to see what the youth and IITA are doing, in the area of youth engagement in agriculture, and how we can get people into agribusiness, which is key for job creation and food security.
“We came here to assess a project (ENABLE Youth) being considered by the Federal Government. From what I have seen today, I am extremely impressed and inspired…We should work on how we can roll out this project nationally,” she said.
IITA Director General, Nteranya Sanginga, who welcomed the team said the minister’s visit marks the first time that a Minister of Finance from the Federal Republic of Nigeria visited IITA in its 50 years of existence. “We have hosted Presidents, Ministers of Agriculture, Environment, and other officials, but you are the first Minister of Finance to come and see for yourself what IITA is doing….You have made our day.”
The Minister later met the Agripeneurs—about 100 of them—all graduates of different disciplines, who provided testimonials on how they, in the different locations in Nigeria, have succeeded in their start-up businesses, due to training and initial support received from IITA and various partners from the private sector, development partners, and international organisations.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) had approved the ENABLE Youth Nigeria program and will provide a US$300 million as a loan to contribute to job creation, food security and nutrition, rural income generation and improved livelihoods for youths in both urban and rural areas in the country.
It is expected to create business opportunities and decent employment for 1000 young women and men along priority agricultural value chains of various enterprises (aquaculture, crops farming, marketing, and processing, among others) per state, including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.