Abuja, Oct. 22, 2023: Agricultural stakeholders in partnership with the Federal Government has launched the Youth in Agribusiness (YAS) Project, designed to engage 10,000 youths into agribusiness entrepreneurship.
Dr Simeon Ehui, the Director General of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres for Africa (CGIAR), disclosed this in Abuja.
Ehui said that the project was aimed at creating viable agribusiness enterprise using innovation, climate smart technologies and business practice that would increase income, productivity, access to finance and Market in the agribusiness sector.
He said the project would target young Nigerians between the ages of 18 to 35 years from four states of the federation– Oyo, Ogun, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The project will be primarily directed at unemployed or underemployed young women and men, the beneficiaries will be rural and urban dwellers with interest to start new agribusiness enterprises.
“YAS will expose beneficiaries to economic opportunities available along the value chains of yam, cassava, soybean, groundnut, maize, horticulture, aquaculture and poultry, ” he said.
According to him, the project will support the development of integrated agribusiness hubs that will serve as incubation and acceleration centres to build the technical capacity for the youths.
Ms Marion Moon, the Technical Advisor to the Vice President on Agriculture, said there was need to create synergies and synchronisation between the public and private sectors in order to accelerate the impact needed on food security.
AL-Hasssn Cisse, Head, Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Northeast Sub office, said the involvement of youths in agriculture could not be over emphasised as the population of the world grew.
He said by the year 2050 the population of the world was estimated to be nine billion and there would be great need to transform the way Nigerians engaged in agriculture by scaling innovation to transform food system.
Cisse said the Africa food system held in Daraa salaam called all African leader to build the food system focusing on youth and women.
“We need to build an enabling environment that will allow youths access to learn, access to finance, access to market, access to technology and access to innovation,’’ he said.
The YAS project launch is in commemoration with the World Food Day with the theme Water is life, Water is Food, Leave no One Behind.