From Debra Ajulo, Ilorin
The Chief Executive Director, Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin, Dr. Olufemi Oladunni says there is need for training and empowerment of a new crop of farmers to lead the actualization of food security and diversification of the economy.
Speaking weekend at the closing ceremony of a five-day training program for 40 youths drawn from Kwara and its neighbouring states, Dr. Oladunni said that, “subsistence farming only cannot assure the nation of food security or the desired diversification of the economy, so the need to identify, train and empower new generation farmers arises.
“Apart from ensuring food security and also boosting the economy, the new generation farmers will go a long way to curb youth restiveness and the alarming unemployment currently threatening the nation.”
He explained further that, “The main objective of this training is to equip new generation farmers with the knowledge and skills to develop and manage their agribusiness towards a sustainable growth.
“The training courses covered such areas as the art of establishing and choosing their own enterprise based on the resources available to them within their communities.
“It is also to help formulate, design and develop workable business plans along the chosen agricultural value chain; identify appropriate sources for agribusiness funding; and equip the youths on how to use digital marketing techniques to enhance the sales of their agricultural produce.”
He therefore appreciated the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for the confidence imposed on the institute to execute her mandate.
He assured that the institute would continue to churn out various agri-prenurship programmes for youths and women as a stopgap for gainful employment.
In his speech on the occasion, the representative of the students, Ayodele Olorunfemi thanked the federal government through ARMTI for the opportunity. He assured that the skills and knowledge gained will not be wasted but utilized to further move the country forward.
Olorunfemi who described the training as “an energizer and a motivator for youths to go into agribusiness” expressed optimism that the students now have what it takes to be agriprenurer and job creators thereby mitigating the incessant unemployment currently ravaging the country.