The Delta State Government has flagged off the 2020/2021 Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) to transform youths into agricultural entrepreneurs and job creators.
The programme which is under the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, will anchor an orientation workshop for 158 crop farmers.
Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer of the State, Prof Eric Eboh, who addressed the beneficiaries on Tuesday noted that YAGEP seeks to create jobs and wealth by training, establishing and supporting youths to become agricultural entrepreneurs.
Eboh also said that the Orientation and Farm Enterprise Training (OFET) will enroll and familiarise beneficiaries with the principles and methods of YAGEP with special reference to key management topics and issues.
He listed the course outline for the training to include among others, critical success factors in farm enterprise management, farm records and accounts, managing risks and uncertainties in agricultural production and agricultural insurance by Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.
Eboh further disclosed that YAGEP has two categories, which are Green YAGEP and Brown YAGEP, the former is meant for youths who are fresh in agricultural enterprises but require training in a chosen agricultural skill followed with the provision of facilities, materials and financial support to start-up and run an agricultural enterprise, he said
On the other hand, Brown YAGEP gathers youths who already have agricultural skills and own agricultural enterprises but in need of refresher training in practical and managerial skills plus support packages to grow and sustain their existing enterprises.
Eboh also noted that YAGEP has run five successful cycles with a total of 1,174 beneficiaries who were trained, established and supported in various agricultural enterprises including poultry, crop production, piggery, fish production, agro-processing and agribusiness, from 2015 to 2020
Now in its sixth cycle, the Chief Officer divulged that about 400 beneficiaries would be enrolled in Fish Production, Poultry, Piggery and Crop Production out of which only 158 of them in Crop Production participated in the first batch of OFET.
In his words, “The 2020-2021 cycle is the 6th consecutive run of the programme. Specifically, it will cover a total of 400 youth agricultural entrepreneurs in the Brown YAGEP category. The programme commences with Orientation and Farm Enterprise Training (OFET) for 2020/2021 Brown YAGEP beneficiaries (1st Batch) holding today 25th of May 2021.
“The enterprises to be covered in the 2020-2021 programme cycle are poultry, piggery, fish production and cultivation of arable crops including cassava, yam, maize, rice, tomato, okra, watermelon, pumpkin and plantain.
“The farm enterprise training workshop will be followed with the provision of support packages to the beneficiaries such as fertilizer; animal feeds; crop agrochemicals; livestock vaccination; cash to pay for critical farm labour in land preparation; weeding; animal husbandry and harvesting; innovative production technologies and profitable agribusiness depending on the type of farm enterprise.
“YAGEP is contributing significantly to agricultural outputs and overall growth of the agricultural sector in Delta State. Estimates show that, from 2015-2020, YAGEP beneficiaries have produced 1,689.87 metric tonnes of poultry, 61,358,690 eggs and 4,977.98 metric tonnes of fish.
“In addition, YAGEP outputs include 1,706.91 metric tonnes of pig, 1,109.23 metric tonnes of cassava roots, 1,339.58 metric tonnes of grains, 477.70 metric tonnes of plantain and 1,753.87 metric tonnes of vegetables namely tomatoes, watermelon and cucumber.
“A recent survey shows that the success rate among YAGEP beneficiaries averages about 71 percent across the various agricultural enterprises,” he added.
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