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Yahaya Bello Kogi to engage 20,000 youths in Agriculture

Oloruntoba made this known on Thursday in Lokoja when members of the agriculture Core Delivery Teams (CDT) visited him.

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Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state. play

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state


The Kogi Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, says the state has concluded plans to engage over 20,000 youths in agriculture.

Oloruntoba made this known on Thursday in Lokoja when members of the agriculture Core Delivery Teams (CDT) from Kaduna and Benue states visited him.

The team is on a three-day learning visit to Kogi under the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) programme.

According to the commissioner, engaging youths in agriculture is part of measures to arrest youth unemployment in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the visit was organised by Synergos Nigeria, with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for the CDT.

It was also supported by Agriculture Vision Group (AVG) and Agriculture Innovation Group (AIG) members from the states.

The team, while in the state, will understudy the SPA operations, government investments in the value chain and identify key value chain crops.

The commissioner maintained that the surest path to employment generation was agriculture, adding that the state government had embarked on the clearing 500 to 1,000 hectares in each of the 21 local government areas.

“The crime we face is as a result of unemployment and the feasible window out of it is agriculture”, he said.

Oloruntoba, however, said that with the necessary collaboration, North-Central states were endowed with enough agricultural resources such as vast arable land and abundant water for all-season farming, to feed the entire nation.

“You can see the outcome of the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi states, two governments can come together to fund projects sited in areas with comparative cost advantage.

“We have resources and we can do it with commitment,” he said.

Also speaking, Prof. Kabiru Mato, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Agriculture, represented by Mrs Jumai Ambi, a Director in the ministry, said that the state was the last of the three states to key into the SPA programme.

Mato said that the state was anxious to learn and to collaborate with other states to exploit its potential.

He observed that policy implementation was one of the hindrances to effective production on the part of farmers.

In his remarks, Mr James Ambua, the Benue State Commissioner for Agriculture, said he led the state team to Kogi to seek collaboration on how to move agriculture to a higher pedestal.

He attributed problems in the agriculture sector to dearth of viable policies.

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Mrs Janet Adejoh, a member of the Benue CDT, urged Kogi Government to allocate at least 60 per cent of the cleared land to women farmers since they had no access to land ownership.

Similarly, Prof. Godwin Agbo, a member of the Advisory Board of Synergos, noted that women were at the centre stage of the organisation’s agriculture policies.

Agbo added that the organisation was sensitive to gender because without women, no programme could succeed.

According to Mr Victor Adejoh, Synergos Team Leader in Kogi, the organisation has succeeded in drawing a roadmap for agriculture in the state.

He said a portal had been created while arrangement was ongoing to get the government to launch and maintain it.

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