IITA Youth Agripreneurs in collaboration with N2Africa-to-Borno project sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on the 3rd of September, 2014 flagged off the 3-week intensive training for 20 youths from Borno State proposed few months ago, which seeks to build the capacity of the youths in agribusiness as an income generating activity.
The 3-week intensive training according to the IITA Youth Agripreneurs is expected to increase the knowledge of the Borno State youths in sustainable agronomic practices and develop their entrepreneurial skills in agribusiness, while promoting self-dependence. The IITA Agripreneurs revealed that the 3 weeks will also enable the possibility of replicating their model in Borno State which is one of the objectives of the group.
In attendance were the Head of IITA Kano Station, Dr Kamara, N2Africa Project Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr. Emmanuel Sangodele, Permanent secretary/Project manager, Agricultural Development Program (ADP) of Borno State, Alhaji Sani Aliu Meedugu, and Professor Emechebe, Plant Pathologist and Independent Plant Management Specialist in IITA and other IITA Kano staff stations.
Key note addresses were delivered by Dr Emmanuel Sangodele, the country coordinator in Nigeria for the N2Africa project and the Permanent Secretary/Project Manager of the Agricultural Development Program, ADP in Borno State Alhaji Sani Aliu Meedugu being accompanied by his deputy, Isa Audu Teli.
According to Dr. Sangodele, “Our nation needs empowering programs to deal with the root cause rather than symptoms of these vices”. “It is on this note that N2Africa in collaboration with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs is launching Agriculture-based job creation campaign in Borno State to eradicate unemployment among the youth in our nation”.
The Project Manager and Permanent secretary, ADP Borno State, Alhaji Sani Aliu expressed gratitude to the efforts of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) towards ensuring youth unemployment in Borno State becomes an issue of the past, while also commending the IITA Agripreneurs for taking up the responsibility to addressing the same problem.
The training commenced with the introduction of the IITA Youth group to the participants which was followed immediately by series of reorientation and experience-sharing sessions by the resource personnel; Odusanya Oludare, Dawodu Olabisi, Ibironke Ifedayo and Adefioye Adedayo, representing the group led by Owoeye Molayo to ensure the participants’ understanding of the training and the efficacy of replicating the same model in Borno State.
“The training majorly is about developing their entrepreneurial skills, helping them to identify and make use of their potentials, strengthen their weaknesses, exploit opportunities they are well placed for and eliminate their threats in terms of doing business in Agriculture”, Owoeye Molayo revealed.
The IITA agripreneurs are dedicated to encouraging and empowering youths of Nigeria and Africa using Agriculture as the major tool and this 3-week intensive learning process facilitated through class room lectures, on-field practical training, interactive sessions and group exercises would go a long way in equipping the youths from southern part Borno state.
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