AfDB’s $280m `Enable Youth Programme’ in agric commences soon
NAN, Abuja; The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it will soon commence the implementation of the $280 million `Enable Youth Programme’, to promote youths’ employment in agriculture in the country.
The `Enable Youth Programme’ is designed to contribute to job creation, food security and nutrition, rural income generation and improved livelihoods for youths, in both urban and rural areas.
Dr Ibrahim Amadou, the Chief Agricultural Economist, AfDB, Nigeria Country Office, made the remark at a training programme for youth farmers in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the support was the Bank’s 10 years strategy to create jobs for youths in Africa, from 2013 to 2022.
Amadou said the programme would be done in collaboration with the Federal Government in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to him, “we are waiting for the government to meet its own obligations before we kick-start the programme.
“The targeted beneficiaries will be in two categories.
“The first are unemployed young Nigerian graduates from any field of study, who have finished their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
“The second are graduate youths, who are already successfully engaged in agribusiness, but have no access to commercial loans to grow their businesses,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the specific objective is to create business opportunities and decent employment for young women and men, along priority agricultural value chains of the various enterprises.
The value chains include aquaculture, crops farming, marketing and processing, among others.
The programme is expected to make agriculture attractive to the youths and also influence institutional changes, in terms of access to finance, particularly for youth.
It is geared toward reaching no fewer than 1,000 agri-entrepreneurs per state, who would establish enterprises as individuals and groups.
The businesses will generate about 185,000 additional jobs, with total direct jobs of 222,000.