As part of its consistency in its efforts to providing job opportunities to Nigeria’s teeming unemployed population, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) trained and empowered 1,850 Nigerians on an agro-entrepreneurship business across the States of the federation.
Meant to be a source of income to the beneficiaries and added vantage to the livestock production chain of country, the agro-preneurship training and empowerment exercise took place across the 36 State and FCT Abuja, according NDE was executed in two phases.
A press statement made available to journalists in Abuja through NDE’s Head of Department of Information and Public Relations, Israel Adekitan, said the Director General of the Directorate, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, stated that the empowerment programme was one of the many efforts of the Federal government towards curbing the challenges of unemployment especially among the youths and women groups and to create jobs.
“Engagement of unemployed youth in goat production business along its value chain will play an important role in the socio-economic and environmental life of the farming communities in terms of income and supply of food for the local population and the country at large”. NDE DG, said.
The statement further said; “The Director-General added that through the training scheme, the participants will be able to earn income, improve the livelihood of the rural people, create employment, reduce rural-urban migration, provide raw materials for leather manufacturing industries, enhance protein intake for the populace, reduce poverty and create wealth.”
It further explained; “During the one week programme, the participants went through intensive skills development in goat production technology along its value chain using the revolving model of empowerment.
“Three states from each of the six (6) geo-political zones in the countryand the FCT were selected for the first phase of the empowerment exercise. Fifty people, mainly youths and women were recruited for the exercise in each of the 36 states and the federal capital territory.
“Flagging off the training exercise at the Agricultural Skills Training Centre in Bwari, FCT Abuja, the Director-General said that the Federal Government through the NDE has continuously identify opportunities for job creations in the agricultural value chain for successfulmanagement of demand driven and viable agribusinesses.
“He informed the people that Rural Employment Promotion Programmeof the NDE, unlike other training schemes, was specially designed to generate rural and urban employment for the jobless and to improve income for wealth creation through agribusiness engagements.
“During the practical demonstration of the training scheme, knowledgeable resource persons from relevant reputable organizations were engaged to expose the trainees to the practical management of goat fattening and breeding. The participants were also put through many relevant courses which include management of goat housing, breeding techniques and methods, prevention and control of diseases, artificial insemination, natural mating, processing/packaging of goat meat, marketing of goat products: meat, milk, skin and waste.”
It added; “To sustain profitability and viability, participants were also taught the rudiments of basic business training and record keeping. They wereencouraged to produce business plans to enhance chances of sourcing loans from financial institutions for start-off and expansion.
“Commenting on the economic gains and viability of the training scheme, the Head of the Rural Employment Promotion Programme in the Directorate, Edem Duke, said that goat production in Nigeria is an economically viable business venture because of its value chain and highcommercial production which have great employment potentials. Goat business, he said, has wide market share, with all its (goat) products in high demand.
“Goat is a source of meat, milk, hide and skin and manure for farming. The skin is used by tanning industries for the manufacture of leather products for local and foreign exchange earnings.
“The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) recently introduced a spectrum of trainings for the unemployed irrespective of their educational level; this is to further address the challenge of joblessness in the country. Small Stock (Goat) Production Training Scheme is one of the Quick Fix Schemes of the Directorate which are designed to accommodate skills training that has short duration.”