N61 million working capital was disbursed to 61 Youth farmers on Tuesday under the FGN/NDDC/IFAD/LIFE-ND programme.
The disbursed fund, was meant to assist the incubatee (farmers) to take off on a proper footing after completion of six month tutelage under established incubators (farmers). The Programme model is tagged -the incubators/incubatees mentorship.
In his welcome address, the State IFAD/LIFE-ND Project Coordinator, (SPC) Mr. Olawale Ademola said the Programme was being funded by federal government, International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) and donors as well as the State Government.
He explained that Governor Akeredolu has demonstrated his unflinching faith in the Programme by being the first Governor among the participating states to pay the compulsory counterpart fund.
The SPC said the Programme was tailored towards youths generally with women more favoured.
"The incubatees have understudied incubators for six months on agro businesses such as poultry, fishing, cassava and cocoa, where we have comparative advantage. The youths are the target from18-35 for men, with the women age bracket fixed at above 40."
He said the incubators are the mentors of the incubatees, who were expected to be overseen by the the incubators.
Mr. Ademola pleaded with them to use the fund judiciously to enable it run smoothly and cover the 4250 youths that are expected to benefit from it in the first six years.
In his address, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth and Student Affairs, Mr. Ogunremi Muyiwa said the Programme had come at the right time to complement the second term agenda of the Governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu. According to him, agriculture was a major component of the agenda, as it pertains to youth and women empowerment particularly in the rural areas.
The Special Adviser added that the working capital would go a long way to improve food production and supply in the state.
Also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Sunday Akintomide expressed gratitude to Governor Akeredolu for supporting the Programme.
He remarked that the Governor Akeredolu administration was promoting a system that would change the face of agriculture in Ondo State.
"I am thrilled to see that our Governor is determined to make people change and embrace agriculture as a business. And this can only take place with availability of credit windows, which he has faith in and he is supporting morally and financially. When we absorb and practice agriculture through this method, it will bring about improvement in the production of food in large quantities."
The Permanent Secretary charged the incubatees to work according to the leading of their uncubators, stressing that, such move would help them avoid errors and wastages.
This is the second disbursement under the scheme, with N20 million disbursed to 20 youths last month
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