Oyo State Government yesterday approved $1.2million for the commencement of Start
Them Early Programme (STEP), an agribusiness initiative in six selected secondary schools across six geopolitical zones in the state. The programme, according to the state government would target at gainfully impacting youths in agribusiness with potential of expanding the economy of the state.
Besides, it said that the programme would encourage youths’ interest in agribusiness. Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, made the disclosure shortly after the 22nd executive coun cil meeting presided over by the Governor Seyi Makinde at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
Ojo stated that STEP was an intervention programme that would embrace a unique approach that would encourage and prepare secondary schools’ students to explore potential in agribusiness and groom their various skills.
According to him, six identified schools would be upgraded by the state government to kick-start the STEP agribusiness initiative, stating that the state government was working closely with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to engage more students in the state in agribusiness.
He said: “At the 22nd EXCO meeting, which we held today, one of the projects that was approved was the Start Them Early Programme STEP in agribusiness, in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Oyo State.
“The whole essence of the programme is to put in place cooperation and overall support of the private sector in the area of IITA corps and comparative advantage to partner on the agribusiness education and on youth work in agriculture in driving the STEP project.
“It is also aimed at engaging in consultative meetings and personnel visits between both IITA and the Oyo State Government.
“The programme is for a total cost of $1.2million and what they are going to do is to put together in the six geopolitical zones, schools that will be used in the pilot programme.
They are going to overhaul six schools in the three geopolitical zones in Oyo State at a cost of $1.2million.