By Onomiguren Agbamu
Delta State Government on Wednesday commences orientation and farm enterprise training (OFET) workshop for Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) with a charged to utilize knowledge judiciously.
Speaking at the orientation, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer and the Head of the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau prof Eric Eboh disclosed that the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) is one of the flagship job and wealth creation programmes of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State at Asaba.
He added that YAGEP was inaugurated on the 26th of August 2015, with the aim of creating jobs and wealth by training, establishing and supporting youths to become agricultural entrepreneurs gainfully self-employed and employers of labour.
He reveals that the YAGEP programme has two categories, which he listed as Green YAGEP and Brown YAGEP.
He explained that the Green YAGEP are for youths who receive first-time training in a chosen agricultural skill followed with provision of facilities, materials and financial support to start up and run an agricultural enterprise.
Adding that the Agricultural skills training under Green YAGEP involves full-cycle methods and activities encompassing instruction, practicals, and internship
He explained that the Brown YAGEP are for youths who already have agricultural skills and own agricultural enterprises but are given refresher training in practical and managerial skills plus support packages to grow and sustain their existing enterprises.
He noted that Under Brown YAGEP, training involves targeted refresher workshops aimed at improving farm management efficiency and productivity.
Giving an historical background, he said YAGEP has Since 2015, run 6 cycles as follows: 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021.
He disclosed that a total of 1,520 YAGEP beneficiaries have been trained, established and supported in various agricultural enterprises including poultry, crop production, piggery, fish production, agro-processing and agribusiness, from 2015 to 2021.
“The Orientation and Farm Enterprise Training (OFET) is an onboarding activity designed to enroll the 1st batch of new YAGEP beneficiaries and familiarize them with the principles and methods of YAGEP”
“The OFET includes training and reorientation of youth agricultural entrepreneurs on key management topics and issues, as follows:
“Best practices in agricultural production, farm enterprise management and agricultural marketing [crop and livestock]. Farm records and financial accounts. Managing risks and uncertainties in agricultural production. Agricultural insurance by Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation”
“The OFET is aimed at making existing youth agricultural entrepreneurs to become better managers of resources and more successful and sustainable in their agricultural businesses”
“The farm enterprise training workshop will be followed with provision of support packages to the beneficiaries, d epending on the type of farm enterprise”
” The support packages include critical production inputs such as fertilizer, animal feeds, crop agrochemicals, livestock vaccination and others.”
“In addition, beneficiaries will be supported with money to pay for critical farm labour in land preparation, weeding, animal husbandry and harvesting”.
“Throughout the production cycle, the beneficiaries will be exposed to and tutored in best agricultural practices in farm enterprise management, innovative production technologies and profitable agribusiness”
“YAGEP is contributing significantly to agricultural outputs and overall growth of the agricultural sector in Delta State.”
*Currently, there are twenty (20) YAGEP farm enterprise clusters with varying combinations of enterprises including poultry, piggery, fishery, rice, and tomato production”.
” The cluster model of youth agricultural employment has restored previously idle agricultural resources to economical use and boosted agricultural productivity and wealth generation in the state.*