Nigeria says it will create jobs for over 758,500 youths across the country under the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) to boost agricultural productivity.
Mrs Karima Babangida, the National Programme Coordinator said this on Tuesday in Katsina during the inauguration of Katsina State YEAP Steering Committee.
Represented by Mr Suleiman Aliyu, Babangida said that the three-year programme was supported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Babangida said that 740,000 jobs would be `market-oriented’ for young agricultural producers, while the remaining 18,500 jobs were reserved for university graduates, ‘nagropreneurs’ across the nation.
‘’Under the market-oriented, 20,000 youths will be selected from each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
‘’500 graduates will also benefit from the programme in each state of the federation,’’ she said.
The coordinator revealed that 12 states were selected for the first phase of the programme, two from each of the six geo-political zones.
Babangida explained that the programme was aimed at providing employment to teeming youths through agricultural enterprises.
Mr Rabe Isa, who spoke on behalf of FAO, urged the committee members to dedicate themselves toward achieving the set goal.
He said that Katsina was also selected for the study of grazing reserves and stock routes being conducted with the aim of addressing farmers/herdsmen clash.
In his remarks, the state deputy governor, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu said that the steering committee’s terms of reference would assist stakeholders to design and implement value chain development plans and promote young agro-entrepreneurs.
He said other terms of reference include the signing of contracts with service providers and beneficiaries, monitor the development of agro-entrepreneurs and commodity chains, among others.
Yakubu said the state government would continue to accord agriculture a top priority so as to address unemployment, diversify the economy and guarantee food security.
The 32-member steering committee would be headed by the deputy governor, who is also the commissioner for agriculture.