NYSC collaborates with NALDA on farming, creation of value chain

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By Mordi Chukwunonso Esther

The National Youth Service Corps has declared its readiness to partner National Agricultural Land Development Authority in its effort of achieving food security in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim in his office in Abuja on Thursday when the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne paid him a courtesy visit.

General Ibrahim said NYSC introduced Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme into its Orientation Course content in 2012 as a way of empowering the youths with skills and instilling in them entrepreneurial spirit in order to gain financial freedom.

He added that the Scheme mobilises over 300,000 Corps Members annually, who, while in camp are exposed to the different skills offered by the skill programme which make them self- reliant, as well as employers of labour.

He further disclosed that beyond the impartation of skills to the Corps Members while in camp, they are equally granted credit facilities to start their own businesses, revealing that many of the ex-Corps Members have become employers of labour running thriving businesses today.

The NYSC Chief Executive used the forum to appeal to State Governors to allocate lands to the NYSC for agriculture, which remains germane to the nation’s economic diversification.

“We will cooperate with you because we want to leverage on Agro-business opportunities with relevant stakeholders so as to boost our revenue profile”, the DG assured the Executive Secretary.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary, Prince Paul Ikonne, said the agency is seeking partnership with the NYSC towards the implementation of the Federal Government’s agenda to ensure food security and diversify the national economy.

He described NYSC as a veritable platform to harness Corps Members’ skills for national development, adding that NALDA has designed a programme, titled; “National Young Farmers Scheme”, which would avail them the opportunity to be actively engaged in agricultural training.

The Executive Secretary said the value-chain programme would expose Corps Members to modern agricultural practices from land preparation, planting, harvesting, and marketing to Agro-Engineering.

“For Nigeria to achieve food sufficiency, NALDA must play its role and NYSC is the only organisation that has the pool of young men to achieve that purpose”, Ikonne concluded.

Source: AIT news online and @officialnyscng

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