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ODSG trains 50 youths on ‘cocoa preneurs’

By Fatima Muraina

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In a bid to revitalize cocoa industry,  Ondo State government has trained 50 youths as Nursery preneurs with a view to exposing them to the economic prosperity in cocoa value chain. The two day training event which as rounded up yesterday was organised by the cocoa Revolution and Management Agency featured distribution of starters pack and presentation of certificates to participants.

Speaking during the training held at the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, the state Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa added that the training was to provide youths with requisite skills in the establishment and maintenance of cocoa nursery.

Aiyedatiwa who was represented by the Administrative Secretary, Cocoa Revolution and Management Agency, Mr. Omolakin Oluwole, declared  that the  training was  part of government’s  initiatives to make the youths gainfully employed and to boost cocoa production in the state.

The objectives of this programme is to train and empower our youths as Cocoa nursery Preneurs, to provide them with requisite skills for the establishment and management of cocoa value chain.

He urged participants to utilize  opportunities that abound in cocoa production instead of looking for white collar jobs that are not readily available.

Speaking in an interview, Mr. Oluwole, described the training as a unique nature which focused  on empowering youths and cocoa farmers as cocoa nursery preneurs.

This, he observed would improve the decline ratio of farmers due to old age and in production.

“We felt that in other to maintain the leading position of Ondo State in cocoa production in Nigeria, we need to bring in the youths and to produce cocoa, you will have to start from the seedlings that’s why we are having this training for 50 youths today so that after the training, they will go back to their various locations and start nursery production,” he said.

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According to him, the training would create employment opportunities  and contribute to the state’s economic growth.

Provost of The Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, FECA, Dr. Akinyemi Fadiyimu, applauded rge initiative which he said would empower youths to take over cocoa production.

Fadiyimu urged the government to expand the programme,  envisioning a substantial reduction in unemployment and societal issues which  participants could take advantage of it.

He advised participants to take the training seriously and utilize the empowerment for its intended purpose.

The Chairman of Ondo State Cocoa Council, Dr Olusegun Awolumate, represented by Mr Bashir Akinola, commended the training and highlighted its benefits.

Awolumate, who  highlighted the benefits of the training, to financial gains in establishing the nurseries, advised participants to make good use of the training.

Also, a Resource Person and one of the members of Ondo State Cocoa Council, Chief Toba Adenowuro added other benefits of the training to include youths becoming independent to enhance their standard of living.

The Head of Department, Crop Production Technology, Federal College Of Agriculture, Akure, Dr. Ajayi Ademola, appreciated government for bringing the youths to agriculture while appealing to government to intensify efforts in the area of insecurity and provide access to loans and inputs.

The State Coordinator, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Arc. Benedict Itegbe represented by Mr James Ajayi, stressed the importance of collaboration to maintain Ondo State’s competitive edge in cocoa production as he reassured continuous support from NEPC.

He noted the need for a united effort  to withstand competition in the cocoa market.

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