By Agnes Igwe
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Ebonyi State, has flagged off orientation ceremony and training for beneficiaries of 2021 Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS) at 135 Ezzangbo Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Flagging off the three-months training workshop, the special guest of honour, the State Commissioner for Agricultural and Natural Resources, Chief Moses Nomeh, held that with the current realities in Nigeria, the nation and citizens will find it difficult to exist profitably without venturing into farming.
According to him, even God himself acknowledged the importance of farm by putting first human in the farm – Garden of Eden – after creation, and charged the participants not to feel too big to venture into farming for the benefits are enormous even as past governors of Ebonyi State, Chief Martin Elechi, Senator Sam Egwu and past President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo are farmers.
The commissioner encouraged the participants thus: “My annual basic agricultural income as a farmer is 20 million naira. I urge you not to feel too big to venture into farming. Our former governors, His Excellencies Chief Martin Elechi, Dr. Sam Egwu and even ex-Nigeria’s president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo are farmers.
“Salary earners are servicing poverty. To be a civil servant is to be a slave. Last year alone I harvested 20 metric tones of rice. When people in other sectors increase prices of the commodities and services, I will increase prices of my farm produce too. I don’t pray to be civil servant. I told them government can’t be able to pay me. Even if I leave office as commissioner, I will not go for civil service, because government will not be able to pay me.
“So, if you want to make it big, listen attentively to the resource persons, grab the full knowledge and upgrade your selves. I started my farming business with fifteen thousand naira (N15, 000.00) only, you too can make it.”
The Commissioner assured of robust collaboration with National Directorate of Employment so as to increase the level of entrepreneurship for self reliance of citizens in the state.
On his part, the Acting Director General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Nuhu–Fikpo, represented at the flag off ceremony by the state Coordinator, Mr. Igboanude Marcel, said that NDE not only exposes the selected 100 youths and women to self-reliant agricultural skills but also will make takeoff fund available.
He stated that the three months training is to enable the beneficiaries get modern agricultural knowledge, as it is expected that at the end, the beneficiaries will set up big farms to ensure provision of food, meat, create employment, boost economy of the state, among others.
According to him, the participants were selected from the 13 local government areas of the state to guarantee food sufficiency among other benefits.
He expressed joy that among the 36 states in Nigeria, Ebonyi is the first to setup its training centre courtesy of the governor, Chief David Umahi and pledged to ensure proper training of many more Ebonyians to ensure rapid boost of the economy.
“The sustainable agricultural development training scheme is one of the job creation schemes used by NDE to train unemployed youths in modern agricultural production, processing and other agro-business activities to enhance the food security programme of the federal government, generate employment opportunities and reduce the rural-urban migration in the country.
“The training comprises of tutorial/ experiential and practical/adaptive exposures. The three months training scheme will cover such topical areas as arable crops production, fishery, poultry, piggery, apiculture, small ruminants production and agro services.
“At the end of the training period, the trainers are expected to form agricultural cooperatives which will enable them to access necessary linkages and financial support to establish modern farms to enhance food production and employment generation.”
Dr. Michael Mbata represented by Mrs. Shade Uche stated that importance of agriculture can never be emphasized and enjoined all participants to make good use of the opportunity.
The Permanent Secretary, Ebonyi Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Ritamary Okoro as well as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture Development, Mr. Joseph Obasi, assured the participants that the sky will be their limits if they make good use of the provided opportunity.
Principal, Ebonyi State Veterinary School Ezzamgbo Mr. Augustine Igwe pledged to support the directorate any way possible to boost production of healthy meat and provide adequate medical health for farm animals.
On behalf of the trainees Mr. Nwafor Chibuike from Ezza North assured the organizers to make good use of the opportunity which will in-turn make the state food basket of the nation.Follow us