The Federal Government in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development/Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises in Niger Delta Project have trained no fewer than 2,180 unemployed youths in Ondo State since 2020.
The gesture was part of the efforts to encourage youths to go into agriculture for abundant provision of food and employment generation. Many of the trainees were empowered with equipment to work with after the training.
Speaking at a media round table, on Thursday, the Ondo State Project Coordinator of the project, Ademola Olawale, said the beneficiaries were drawn from 10 out of the 18 local government areas of the state.
According to Olawale, the programme, which started in 2020, was in two phases as second phase would start in 2025. He explained that the beneficiaries were trained in various fields of agriculture which include: poultry, fishery piggery cassava vegetable production among others.
He said, “This programme started in 2020 and we have trained 2,180 incubatees (unemployed youths) in the last three years which is the first phase. Some of them have been empowered with tools to work and are now self-reliant after the training.
“The second phase is coming up in 2025, the project is fully funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization with counterparts funding from Ondo State and before the end of this year, we would have empowered over 2,500 youths.”
In her remarks, the Rural Institutions Gender and Youth Officer of IFAD/ND-Life Project in the state, Bolanle Ajibade, affirmed that the training covers processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural products.
Speaking, one of the beneficiaries Mercy Ojo, commended the organisations and the sponsors of the projects, saying it had transformed her life from being unemployed to an employer of labour.