The agricultural initiative and programmes of Delta State Government, led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has received a boost through the training of over 5,000 residents of the state in farming food value-chain by the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT). Earlier, the governor had under his administration’s Skills Training Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) and the Youth Agricultural Empowerment Programme (YAGEP) trained several thousands of youths and graduates in the sector.
The partnership between the lawmaker, representing Ndokwa/ Ukwuani Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, and NIHORT has so far benefitted over 5,000 youths from the Ndokwa community in the state. On the training of over 900 youths to be self-reliant in tomatoes processing and ‘Ugu’ (Telfairia) food valuechain farming in Kwale, the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Institute, Alhaji Muhammed Garba (rtd) supported by the Head, Research, Review and Planning Committee, Dr Ephraim Nwanguma; the Executive Director of the institute, Dr. Abayomi Olaniyan, urged the beneficiaries to deploy the knowledge acquired to significant investment activities.
He said the crops were capable of generating employment and foreign exchange earnings, as a result of their global recognition, adding that under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, agriculture had assumed a critical multiplier sector and has a high potential for job opportunities to tackle the current graduate unemployment crisis in the country. According to him, since inception of the training three years ago, over 5,000 youths had so far benefitted from the pilot stages, including the 900 beneficiaries that are undergoing training in Delta State