By Raymond Osho
ABEOKUTA: As part of effort to create job opportunity for the teeming youths and diversify the economy into agriculture, the Ogun state government, through the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday, January 24, 2020, disclosed its readiness to partner with a private agricultural company, Agro Park to train over 2,000 youths on livestock and crop production.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Samson Odedina, made the disclosure during a visit to Agro Park in Ijale-Papa, Oke-Ogun in Abeokuta North Local government of the state.
Stressing the rationale behind the visit, the Commissioner stated that industrialisation and Private-Public Partnership (PPP) was key in the state’s vision to create job opportunity, promote investment through the agricultural sector and create food security, hence the reason for the visit.
His assurance was that the partnership would link potential farmers, especially the young ones with existing farmers to supply primary products to industries, a project he said would help in the actualisation of of the vision.
According to Odedina’s assessment “Agro Park needs 2,000 young farmers to improve on the production of lemon grass, with this partnership we will be able to train young people on production of lemon and through this we are creating jobs and food security “.
His words, “We are here because industrialization and PPP is key to our vision, especially vision that is tied to agriculture in Ogun state. With this we will be able to link famers, young people who are able to supply primary products to industries that private sector people have applied, then we can be talking about job creation so they need state support in sustaining their source of raw materials.”
Speaking, the Chief Operating Officer of Agro Park, Ayodele Alabi stated that the partnership would encourage self romance among the youths and would reduce their depence on government for survival.
Alabi argued that through agriculture the youths would make a phenomenal difference in the state as well as bring development to the economy, hence, changing the odd narrative in the country’s economy sector.
“People do say that mellenial youths are lazy, they don’t want to stay on the farm, but the truth is the youths are not lazy and you could see them working on the farm. Here the youths are making phenomenal difference in agriculture.”
He said “We want to partner with the ministry of agriculture Agric industrialization because it isn’t enough to cultivate crops. What we are doing here presently is that we are into live stock and crop production and we also run the entire value chain. ”
“We are looking at taking agriculture to the next level, having products from our farm produce at the end of the day export surplus, create employment for our people and also feed ourselves as a nation . “