The Ekiti State government in partnership with Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority has concluded an arrangement to engage no fewer than 400 youths in horticultural activities.
This was contained in a statement issued by Special Adviser to Governor Biodun Oyebanji on Agriculture and Food Security, Ebenezer Boluwade, in Ado-Ekiti.
Mr Boluwade said that an out-grower initiative in tomato and pepper production was also being birthed through the Public and Private Sector Partnership (PPP) at Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority’s Dam in Ayede-Ekiti.
According to him, a total of 50 youths will be engaged through the scheme, basically in horticultural activities.
“The pilot scheme is expected to scale up before the end of the year to accommodate 400 youths for employment,” he said.
Mr Boluwade said the state government was making efforts to provide accommodation for people who would prefer to stay within the farm area, while basic amenities and other incentives would also be provided.
“The agency is providing land, drips irrigation and inputs, while the Ministry of Agriculture will provide manpower, training and extension services through the Agricultural Development Programme network,” he said.
The governor’s aide further stated that the scheme was geared toward encouraging youths to go into agriculture business to achieve food security, reduce unemployment, build capacity, yield enhancement and attract investment to the state.
“This is part of the efforts toward ensuring effective use of resources for maximum results through PPP engagement,” he said.
He added that FMS-Agro was renowned for agri-business expertise, with years of experience in developing ped structures and tailor-made routes to marketing products.
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