EDO State Governor Godwin Obaseki has said that the agriprenuer programme will be fully rolled out in the first quarter of 2018.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Budget, Mr. Joseph Eboigbe, the governor said the programme was part of the government’s plan for Micro, Small-scale and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and youth-focused agricultural initiatives.
Eboigbe, said though the government in 2017 provided cheap credit to MSMEs, in 2018, it will significantly enhance the package of incentives to the enterprises, as there is anticipated growth in the sector, which will naturally translate to jobs.
His words: “In 2017, the state government piloted the agriprenuer scheme. By the first quota of 2018, we will roll out the programme fully. The agriprenuer programme will target about 55,000 youths, who indicated interest in agriculture through Edo Jobs,” he said.
According to him, “each person will be allocated five hectares of land to de-risk the process. We intend that in one or two planting seasons, these youths will have developed the capacity to cultivate, manage the farm and harvest.
“From there, the youths will transit into managing their own farms on a sustainable basis.”
He added that the state government will continue to anchor its economic growth largely on agriculture, as it intends to exploit the 75 percent of its 20,000 kilometres arable land.
“We anticipate major economic growth in the agriculture value chain; from production, cultivation processing; harvesting and processing,” he added.
Other sectors that will record significant activities in 2018, according to him, include construction, MSMEs, and services sector.
“The government will embark on massive road construction and rehabilitation projects; and as part of the urban and rural development plans, the state government will scale up housing development. All these will translate to more jobs for our people,” he said.