By Rita Esegine
Through one it’s numerous job creations schemes; Post Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS), the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has recently empowered One Thousand, Nine Hundred unemployed Nigerians.
Beneficiaries of empowerment are drawn from the Thirty Six (36) States of the Federation and the FCT, Abuja. NDE hinted that the job creation programme was developed to enhance agricultural skills and performances of the beneficiaries, targeting food production and supply increase, and poverty reduction in the country.
According to a statement provided to the media in Abuja by NDE’s Media and Public Relations’ Head, Israel Adekitan, the Directorate granted loan to the participants to the tune of N100, 000, to invest in their farm produce.
About fifty persons who were once beneficiaries of NDE agric programmes and schemes from each of the 36 states across the federation and the FCT Abuja, were selected to benefit from the exercise.
NDE Director-General, Mallam Abubakar NuhuFikpo, explained the unrelenting efforts of the Federal government to everything within its powers to encourage Nigeria’s teeming youth to accept agriculture as a means of livelihood. “Government has expanded the scope of sources of funding for agricultural projects with the aim of enhancing quality of life for farmers and society as a whole”. He said.
The Post Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme aims at empowering the beneficiaries to establish, grow and expand agric-enterprises of their choice on a sustainable basis.
The NDE Boss further said; “Most importantly, training the participants on the modern agricultural best practices would ultimately assist the participants to be more profit oriented in their businesses with the ability to repay their loans for others to benefit.”
The Directorate also revealed that about Five thousand, Five Hundred and Eight (5,508) participants had benefitted from loan empowerment after the mandatory completion of its various agric training schemes namely; Agricultural Enhancement Scheme (AES), Community Based Agricultural Development Empowerment Scheme (CBADES), Graduate Agricultural Empowerment Scheme (GAES) and Community Based Agricultural Development Empowerment Scheme (CBADES). The soft loans werewith nine percent interest rate having six months moratorium.
At the commencement of the training event in the Agric Skill Centre, Bwari, FCT Abuja, Mallam Fikpo explained that the Post SADTS training is “a specialized one week intensive agric-coaching exercisewith structured interventions in agricultural practices to improve seeds, seedlings and productivity for better harvest”. He added that the exerciseis also to assist the beneficiaries enhance capacity and knowledge towards bumper harvest.
Recall that NDE’s Rural Employment Promotion Programme, a job creation empowerment programme was designed with the objectives of generating rural employment and improving incomes through agri-business engagements, promoting the adoption of improved technologies in post-harvest handling, good storage as well as promoting other non-farm rural employment activities in order to stem the rural urban drift.
NDE has also revealed that a total number of Three Hundred and One thousand, Three Hundred and Sixteen (301,316) direct and indirect jobs were created by the NDE under agricultural value chain in the year 2021.