ABUAD partners IFAD, IITA on agribusiness
From Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
The Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) has entered into a three-year partnership with the International Fund for Agriculture development (IFAD) and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for the training of 1,000 youths in various agricultural techniques.
The team of experts from the partnering agencies said the essence of the programme, is to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria and encourage youth population to perceive farming as a profitable business.
Speaking on Monday in Ado-Ekiti during the official flagging off of the programme, held at the main campus of the institution the IFAD Technical Specialist and leader of the team, Dr Malu Muia, said the agencies are partnering the institution in order to enhance it’s deep concern of job creation among the youths of the country.
Describing youth unemployment as the Africa’s major challenge, Muia added that with the trends of joblessness in Africa and its attending consequences, all hands must be on the deck to tackle the menace.
He said Africa must reexamine its modules of education and rejig its curricular to be at par with 21st century economic growth.
The university’s founder, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who spoke about the high propensities for white collar jobs among youths, said : “The mentality of an average Nigerian was that, only white collar jobs were good.”
He stated that for a university to be great, it has to be a training ground for all categories of population, especially farmers.
To underscore the value he places on farming, Babalola said if he has the second chance of coming to this world that he will embrace farming as a profession.
“This is because I was born in the farm by a farmer and where I learnt everything that gave me these achievements today .
The Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sylvester Ojo, said the university was established with a mission to make a mark and contribute to global development .
Ojo said: “This collaboration is coming at the right time, because many of our graduates are involving in kidnapping, robbery prostitution, because they have no jobs to do. But if we can encourage these youths, job seeking will be solved”.