Young agro entrepreneurs converge on Abuja to showcase products | Dailytrust

Young agro entrepreneurs converge on Abuja to showcase products

Young agro entrepreneurs along the rice and cassava value chain have met in Abuja to showcase their innovative products at the 2022 National Youth Forum.

The event was part of the Value Chain Development Project (VCDP), which brings together young farmers and businesspersons trained under the scheme.

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The project, which is financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Federal Government of Nigeria, is designed to promote entrepreneurship along the cassava and rice value chains.

The 2022 edition was to celebrate their innovations.

The national coordinator of the programme, Dr Fatima Aliyu, said the value chain development youth forum holds every year to look at contemporary issues relating to youth and entrepreneurship development with a view to showcasing the contribution of the VCDP to government effort at combating unemployment in the country.

Dr Aliyu said the project is a market and private sector-driven programme to increase the income, food and nutrition security of smallholder producers who cultivate not more than five hectares of either cassava or rice, and processors who process not more than two tons of cassava and mill not more than four tons of rice daily.

In her remarks, the IFAD Country Director, Ms Dede Ekaue, said the size and youthfulness of the Nigeria population offer great potential to expand the country’s capacity as the regional economic hub of Africa and globally, using agribusiness, entrepreneurship and technology to improve the livelihood of the youth and women.

Ms Ekaue, however, noted that despite the youthfulness of the Nigerian population, the average age of farmers in the sector is 60 years and this implies that the sector is yet to mobilize Nigeria’s demographic dividends of the young population.

She said mobilizing youth for agriculture is critical for the transformation of the food systems in the country.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, who was represented by the director, Project Coordinating Unit, Engr. Ubandoma Ularamu, said the federal government would continue to direct energy to programmes that would help the youth to create wealth and generate employment.

He added that the young entrepreneurs who are generating wealth today no longer need white-collar jobs to generate income for themselves and their families.

 

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