Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has said that no fewer than 80 youths are currently undergoing training on rural agricultural development at Ikom in Cross River.
Mr Edem Duke, the state's Coordinator of the NDE, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Calabar.
Duke said that the youths, who started the training on Aug.1, would be trained in modern agricultural production, processing and marketing.
He also said that the training would include life skills, lectures and preparation of feasibility reports.
Duke said the aim of the scheme was to re-awaken the interest of youth in agriculture by exposing them to opportunities for self-employment and wealth creation.
‘’We are encouraging them to practice farming quite different from the way our parents did it in order to make it more attractive and profitable,’’ he said.
The NDE coordinator said that the training would last four months, divided into one month of theoretical training and three months of practical training.
He said that the beneficiaries would choose an area of interest and prepare a bankable feasibility report to be submitted to the NDE at the end of the training.
Duke said he hoped that the training would mark a turning point in the lives of the trainees in accepting agriculture as an enterprise for self- reliance.
He advised that the beneficiaries should make the best use of the opportunity provided by the Federal Government by utilising the knowledge learnt from the training programme.
He revealed that the directorate would resettle the trainees at the end of the training programme.
Duke remarked that various interventions of the directorate's training programmes had provided a stop-gap measure aimed at solving the nation's unemployment problems.
``This the NDE has done by providing the youths with skills which, if adequately utilised by the beneficiaries, can make them self-reliant in their chosen vocations,’’ he said.