By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, said on Friday that the state will expand the state’s Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project (YEAP) to enable the training of 10,000 youths by the CSS Integrated Farms Limited, Gora, Nasarawa State.
The governor made this disclosure while speaking at the graduation ceremony of the first batch of 300 trainees, held at the International Skills Acquisition Centre (ISAC), Gora.
He noted that his administration has embarked on the training in order to lift youths from poverty into prosperity, stating that the government is determined to empower Oyo State youths so that they can empower others.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the state was initially going to empower only 1,000 youths through the scheme, but that it increased the number to 3,300 at 100 per local government.
He noted, however, that following the richness of the programme and its capacity to turn the economy of Oyo State into a multi-billion Naira economy through agribusiness graduates, government will now go ahead to train 10,000 youths in agribusiness.
The first batch of trainees were trained by about 15 lecturers/professors across the fields of leadership in agribusiness, irrigation farming, Information/ Communication Technology application in agribusiness, fishery farming and management, hydroponics farming, cassava and rice value chain and poultry farming, among others.
The governor was given an award of recognition by the chairman, CSS Integrated Farms, Professor John Kennedy Opara, who commended the governor for being very passionate about his people.
He encouraged the trainees to return to Oyo State and make a difference, noting that to make the governor and the people of the state proud, they must return with the drive to achieve increased yields in different areas.
While speaking at the graduation ceremony, Governor Makinde, who expressed satisfaction with the training, commended the trainees for being good ambassadors of Oyo State.
Earlier, the YEAP Coordinator and Director-General of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Dr. Debo Akande, said the training is a great opportunity for youths to make a difference.
He maintained that the Makinde administration has sown a seed of greatness for the state, commending the governor for the decision to increase the number of trainees in the project.
Akande, who appreciated Governor Makinde’s initiative on COVID-19 Food Security Support in which farmers were provided with improved seedlings, said the initiative has yielded positive results as the prices of cassava has been crashed by half in Oyo State.
He added that the training is a starting point for the trainees, noting that everything required for the enterprises has been provided by the governor.
The OYSADA boss appreciated CSS for doing an excellent job with the first batch of trainees, urging the organisation to continue with a good job.