With the current nationwide economic meltdown and the fall of the crude oil price in the International market, it has become apparent that diversification of the nation’s economy might be the only way out. It is in the light of this that the government has set up various schemes, agencies and bodies to look into other sectors of the economy and proffer solutions of which one of them is the FADAMA group.
In this regard, FADAMA through the Graduate Unemployed Youth and Women Support (GUYS) Programme organized a two-week training and empowerment programme in collaboration with the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Ekiti State University (EKSU) recently. The training has among its aims, equipping participants with necessary skills needed to become Agriculture entrepreneurs and giving financial grants for investments.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held at the EKSU campus in Ifaki, Ekiti, the FADAMA project supervisor Mrs. O.Y. Okunola urged all participants to take the programme seriously as they were fortunate to have been selected from an initial five hundred and twelve (512) applicants in Ekiti State.
She also explained that out of the three hundred (300) selected participants spread across three higher institutions within the State, two hundred (200) participants would qualify for grants by FADAMA while the remaining hundred (100) would be linked with the Central Bank of Nigeria for access to loans.
Also, Mrs. Okunola explained the programme was designed to focus on the production of four main crops namely Sorghum, Rice, Tomatoes and Cassava. She however stated that participants would be free to venture into other aspects of Agriculture including livestock farming.
EKSU Acting Dean of Agricultural Sciences, Professor O. Ayodele explained the importance of agriculture to national growth while stating that the Faculty was in support of the programme. He encouraged the participants to take full advantage of the FADAMA programme.
Other notable personalities in attendance included the Ekiti State Commissioner of Agriculture, Hon. Kehinde Odebunmi who represented Governor Ayodele Fayose. He advised the participants to see the FADAMA Agriculture Financing as their key to prosperity.
The Vice- Chancellor of EKSU, Professor Samuel Oye Bandele who was represented by the Dean of Science, Prof. L. K. Olofintoye declared the programme open.
The participants will be in training for two weeks at the Ifaki campus to undergo training in successful business plan for Agricultural investment.