LAGOS INTRODUCES AGRIPRENEUR PROGRAMME TO TRAIN 200 YOUTHS, WOMEN

Lagos State Government has introduced the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (L.A.P.), under its Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-Yes), in furtherance of the vision of training 15,000 youths and women in the various agricultural value chains by the year 2023.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal noted that the programme, which commences with one-month training of no fewer than 200 participants, is aimed at improving capacity, creating wealth and employment in the agricultural value chains such as poultry, piggery, aquaculture and vegetables.
“The current reality and exigencies of job creation for the teeming youth population and attainment of food security require that a more aggressive, strategic and efficient approach be employed in the training and empowerment of women and youth, if Lagos State is to achieve a significant reduction of unemployment, create more jobs and wealth and also significantly enhance food security in the State by year 2023,” Lawal said.
According to him, the training scheduled to take place at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe is expected to efficiently reduce unemployment, create jobs and alleviate poverty while it also attracts and pays more attention to the creation of jobs for women in agribusiness across the State.
Lawal listed other anticipated outcomes of the scheme as the enhancement of the economic activities of the surrounding communities; reduction in the overall rate of unemployment; reduction in crime rate within the State; and promotion of the State’s target of producing at least 25% of the food consumed by residents of the State before the end of year 2025.
Speaking on the implementation strategy, Lawal explained that the training and empowerment programme would be done in two stages; the first being the training session in various agricultural value chains to attain a large number of women and youth trainees in a short time, using fewer resources which will be enterprise-specific.
“The stage two of the training would entail participants being encouraged to form Cooperative Agricultural Multipurpose Societies (C.A.M.S.), which are enterprise-specific, in order to better position them to attract funding. On the part of the government, the Ministry of Agriculture will partner with existing farms and agribusinesses with a view to attaching beneficiaries to agribusinesses closest to their location of residence for internship pending linkage to sources of finance,” Lawal explained.
He said government would facilitate access to financing through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), CBN Intervention Programmes such as Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), and the World Bank Assisted Projects such as the Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Programme among others.
While hoping that the empowerment will promote the establishment of additional enterprise-specific Farm Estates across the State, Lawal hinted that participants would be allocated land space, based on their enterprise of interest and place of residence.
He, therefore, urged interested participants with passion for agriculture, minimum of senior secondary school certificate and satisfactory physical and health conditions to collect the application forms free-of-charge at Room 9 at the Ministry in Alausa or any of the State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority Offices at Ojo or Odogunyan in Ikorodu or the Coconut House in Mowo, Badagry.

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