The Ekiti state government, in partnership with Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, has concluded plans to engage at least, 400 youths in horticultural activities. This was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the Governor of Ekiti State, on Agriculture and Food Security, Ebenezer Boluwade, in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. According to Boluwade, the government will engage a total of 500 youths through the scheme, in horticultural activities.
“The pilot scheme is expected to scale up before the end of the year to accommodate 400 youths for employment”, he said. To ensure convenience for youths, who would be participating in the training, Boluwade said that the state government was making efforts to provide accommodation services for people, who would prefer to stay within the farm area, while basic amenities and other incentives would also be provided for them. “The agency is providing land, drips irrigation and inputs, while the Ministry of Agriculture will provide manpower, training and extension services through the Agricultural Development Programme network”, he added.
Speaking further, he also mentioned that an out-grower initiative in tomato and pepper production is also in the planning stage, through the Public and Private Sector Partnership (PPP) at the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority’s Dam in Ayede-Ekiti. The governor’s aide further disclosed that the scheme was a way of encouraging youths to consider agricultural businesses in order to achieve food security, build capacity, reduce unemployment, secure enhancement and to attract investments and profitable businesses to the state. “This is part of the efforts toward ensuring effective use of resources for maximum results through PPP engagement,” he said.