Ondo to partner with AfDB on youth empowerment
The loan will be used for the construction and operation of a Greenfield crude oil refinery and a Greenfield fertiliser manufacturing plant
The Ondo State Government on Wednesday said it would partner with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to address factors militating against agricultural development and youth empowerment in the state.
Mrs Bolanle Olufunmiloye, the Chairman, Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA), disclosed this after officials of the AfDB visited Ore and Epe agro-business cities in Odigbo and Ondo-West Local Government Areas of the state.
“Our collaboration with the Bank will enable us transform the state’s socio-economic status, making it viable and facilitating the creation of wealth and jobs for the teeming unemployed youths through agriculture.
“We will, however, continue to seek the support and collaboration of reputable organisations in achieving the present administration’s agricultural transformation agenda,’’ she said.
According to the chairman, the four agro-business cities built in the state’s three senatorial districts are agricultural training and agro-business incubation centres.
She said that the partnership would allow the youths to spend a minimum of 18 months at the cities, to learn and practice the business of agriculture through the entire value chain of production.
Olufunmiloye said the agency was currently working with 400 graduates, while arrangements had been concluded to engage another 100 young graduates.
She said the agency’s work with youths was being carried out with the support of Partnership lnitiative of Niger Delta Development (PIND) and FADAMA.
“The Ore agro-business city has over 3, 500 hectares of land, out of which over 1, 000 were cleared for cassava and maize plantations.
“Two hectares are allocated to each professional farmer for maize cultivation and four hectares for those that are into cassava plantation,’’ the chairman said.
She said egg production would commence at the end of the month in the newly constructed poultry houses at the cities.
Olufunmiloye assured that the present administration would continue to make agriculture more attractive to the youths to increase production and processing of agricultural products.
She appealed to the programme’s beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunities provided by the present administration in agriculture to better their lives.
In his remarks, the leader of the AfDB delegation, Mr Amodou Ibrahim, commended the state government for its giant strides in agricultural development, especially the Youths in Agriculture programme.
Ibrahim, who is the bank’s Chief Agriculture Economist, said that the team was in the state to understudy the state government’s programmes on youth development.
He said the bank would partner with the state and assist it in designing its own youth development programmes.
The AfDB official expressed his delight at the facilities and infrastructure put in place at the business cities, adding that the Bank would assist in ensuring the sustainability of the state’s agricultural revolution.
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