From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Determined to boost agribusiness in Ogun, the state government says it has facilitated a business meeting between 100 agriculture entrepreneurs and financial institutions, investors, government intervention funds and agribusiness operators, in order to position them to access necessary funding to scale up their businesses.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Agriculture, Angel Adelaja-Kuye, who made this known while declaring open a 4-day workshop with the theme “Ogun State Access to Agricultural Finance”, held in Abeokuta, disclosed the beneficiaries were selected from the Ogun Job Portal as part of Abiodun-led administration’s efforts to reduce unemployment in the state.
She explained that the Ogun State government through the Ministry of Agriculture has partnered with the financial institutions to train 100 women and youths in order to ensure they have access to all forms of funding, including loans, grants and investment funds to boost their agric businesses.
Adelaja-Kuye added that at the end of the training, trainees would access to funds needed to thrive, scale, and become employers of labour, noting that ‘Governor Abiodun is working to empower youths in various sectors of the state economy, with agriculture as the main driver of job creation.
‘Today we are training a hundred individuals; this training is empowerment itself because after the 4 -day training, they will have Enterprise Development Certificates, which is needed to get access to a variety of funds, including the SMEs Survival Fund, AgSMEs, BoI funds as well as others. It shows financiers that these agribusinesses people have gone through training on leadership development, business plan writing, business and financial management on how to manage their business efficiently and they are more likely to get funds from financial institutions.
‘This is just a pilot, this is the first one we will be doing on this programme and is going to be a regular activity, where we will continue to link them to this funding. The success of these youths is going to actually show to other youths on how much opportunities are in accessing agricultural finances, and we hope that even without this programme, these youths can be a testament to how to effectively access agriculture finance so that the young people around them can key in as well with or without the training. After all, how often do they have the opportunity to sit with heads of agribusiness for various banks?,’ she added.
She said that the initiative behind the programme was to boost agricultural productivity, agribusiness capacity and the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.