Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
International Fund for Agriculture development (IFAD) and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and AfricaRice, have entered into a three year partnership with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), to train 1,000 youths in various agricultural techniques.
The team of experts from the partnering agencies , said the essence of the programme, is to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria and encourage youth population to perceive farming as a profitable business.
The revelation was made at an unveiling session in ABUAD, yesterday, during the flag-off of the IFAD Project Inception Workshop tagged: ‘Youth empowerment in Agri business and sustainable agriculture held in the university. An IFAD Technical Specialist and leader of the team, Dr. Malu Muia Ndavi.
They said the agencies wanted to partner the institution because of their deep concerns for job-creation in Nigeria and Africa, having realised that youth unemployment is Africa’s major challenge .
The university’s founder, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), spoke about high propensities for white collar jobs among youths.
“The mentality of an average Nigerian was that, only white collar jobs were good. When white men introduced civil service, the civil servants then lived like gods, so were trained wrongly. They never emphasised that farming was a good profession. But, somebody must correct this wrong impression and IFAD, ABUAD must be ready to do this. We must research and bring new innovations to agriculture and modernise farming,” Babalola said.