Border closure: FG urged to develop human resources in agric

The Federal Government has been advised to utilise opportunities created by border closure against some staple food items to increase local production by developing human resources and capacity in agricultural business.

Speaking at opening of a one-week training programme for graduate youths in the North Central zone organised by the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA), Ilorin in collaboration with Ministry of Water Resources, the managing director of the authority, Engineer Adeniyi Aremu, said that soaring prices of food items caused by the border closure would come down when local production is increased.

“With the border closure, what’s next is to develop our human resources and capacity to produce those staple food items that had been restricted from being imported from neighbouring countries. Today, in agribusiness, all of us must be involved in agriculture. By this, enabling environment would be created to increase local production and even conserve nation’s foreign currency earnings,” he said.

The LNRBDA boss, who said that the graduate youth were trained on capacity building in areas of agripreneurship and empowerment, added that the training programme would encourage self-employment, self-independent in aspects of agriculture.

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“It’s a yearly programme targeted at human resources which are the greatest assets in any economy. We have placed a premium on capacity building of graduate youths and our staff because all aspects of production without labour are not effective. So, those trained in this programme would in turn train some other youths in their different localities and be self-employed, self-independent in aspects of agriculture.

“They are trained on the dry season and rain-fed agriculture. They would be trained for 10 months and would be given stipends at the end of the programme to kick start. For any nation to grow it has to boost its agriculture production,” he said.

Engineer Aremu, who said that one-man, one-hectare programme would be carried out after the training for the participants, added that each of the graduate youth would be provided with a hectare of land, farming inputs, and incentives to practicalise the training programme.

He also commended the present federal government for putting up the training programme and for showing the road map for the nation’s economic growth.

Also speaking, lead consultant, Magic Touch business solutions limited, Mallam Yahaya Abdulrazaq, advised youth roaming the streets to pick knowledge in agriculture from those in graduate agribusiness or agricultural institutes that are saddled with the responsibility of training people on agribusiness to be able to stand on their own.

“There is a value chain in agriculture. These youths can come into agribusiness as actors, processors, distributors, or transporters. They can fall into any of the areas they think they can function well. Even, there are some youth who specialised in land clearing, planting or harvesting etc,” he said.

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