We’ve engaged over 70,000 youths in agriculture – Gov Abiodun


Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

Ogun State government said it has engaged more than 70,000 youths in the State in crops and livestock production, while about 3,000 more are ready to explore advantage inherent in the dairy sub-sector.

The State Governor,  Prince Dapo Abiodun, disclosed this at the Virtual Launch and unveiling of the Centre for Nigerian Dutch  Dairy Development in Nigeria, a subsidiary of Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc,

Abiodun noted that already the State  farmers are part of the 9000 workforce trained by WAMCO, the leading milk producer.

He said the state would partner with the company to explore opportunities in the sub-sector.

The governor said the State agricultural programmes were deliberately focused on youths, especially the farm entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers, adding that the objective was to assist them leverage on opportunities in the agricultural sector, including animal husbandry and the dairy sub sector, through a well-coordinated value chain initiative.

“We have continued to provide support to all our farmers, in terms of land, training, off-taking, credits and input, with our partners ensuring the sustainability of the projects and profitability of the markets.

“I commend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and all our partners for their commitment towards the continued growth of Agriculture and all other sectors of our dear State’s economy.

“I am happy to inform you all that we have been successful in this area of economic diversification and agricultural industrialization as well as in our food security, poverty alleviation and job creation programme in our dear State”, the governor stated.

Prince Abiodun lauded the company for its commitment to backward integration through cooperatives, partnerships, training and support that has produced over 9,000 dairy farmers, including 950 women across communities, especially in Ogun State.

“Barring any unexpected happenings, the Dairy Development Programme (DDP) which you pioneered in August 2010 in Nigeria will become more vibrant, result-oriented and mutually beneficial with the establishment of a full-fledged Centre for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development in Nigeria (CNDDD). This seems to me a definitive approach to growing local content and building capacity”, he said.

The governor hinted that the State was willing to open its doors to profitable ventures, maintaining that as an administration, it understand that governance was all about the people and therefore committed to partnering with genuine individuals and organisations that would further guarantee the successful implementation of its agenda and the realization in agriculture.

His government, he noted, was committed to a viable Public-Private Partnership (PPP) by attracting quality private investments across the globe, through the provision of conducive atmosphere for existing businesses to grow and establishment of new ones.