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Food security: ATASP trains 50 Kebbi, Sokoto youths on agribusiness

The Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase-1 (ATASP-1) on Thursday began a one-week training of 50 youths from Kebbi and Sokoto States on agribusiness incubation to enhance food security.

The National Programme Coordinator, ATASP-1, Dr Ibrahim Arabi, said in Kano that the trainees were selected from eight ATASP-1 participating local governments of Kebbi and Sokoto States.

He said the youths, consisting of 27 males and 23 females, would be trained in agribusiness incubation along the value chains of rice and sorghum.

Arabi said the Federal Government (FG) launched the programme to attract private sector investment in agriculture and ensure food and nutritional sufficiency.

Arabi, represented by the Zonal Programme Coordinator, Kano-Jigawa Zone, Alhaji Auwalu Shehu, said the project had developed strategies to attract, train and retain the trainees in the agribusiness sector.

He said that the youths would be provided with on-the-job training and mentoring strategies to improve their practical skills and knowledge in agribusiness.

According to him, there are endless opportunities in modern agriculture for youths.

Arabi explained that all the value chains were open, which included digital agricultural marketing if one did not want to go to the farm.

Earlier, the Zonal Programme Coordinator, Kebbi-Sokoto Zone, Dr Aliyu Abubakar, reiterated that the FG unveiled the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to attract private sector investment and reduce post-harvest losses.

Abubakar, represented by Yahuza Garba, said beneficiaries would acquire capacity in production, processing, and increasing their income generation, thus reducing the nation’s unemployment rate.

“The objective is to enhance food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation, employment generation, wealth creation and markets for the benefiting communities of the programme,” he said.

The Project Manager, ABOMAX Youth in Agribusiness Incubation, Ms Heather Akanni, said the programme aimed to contribute to food security and safety through improved and gender-friendly technology.

She said the strategy was to catch and get the youths involved in agriculture, hoping to monitor and link them with relevant institutions and organisations in scaling up food production.

Some trainees who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) lauded the FG for the gesture and promised to be more committed to agribusiness.

Salamatu Muhammad, Governor, Rice Value Chain, said the training would impact her life as she returned home to start her business.

She commended the FG for the gesture and appealed for more training and empowerment for youths in the country.

Similarly, Sirajo Umar, Governor, Sorghum Value Chain, who commended ATASP-1 for the opportunity, pledged to step down and share the knowledge with others to become employers of labour. (NAN

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