The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained and sensitised some 150 youths and women on Agric relatrf business development empowerment programme, (ADEP) through capacity building scheme, in Bayelsa.
The training workshop took place at the Secretariat Complex Annex 5, Road Safety Road, ovom on Tuesday.
In his address, Mr Olawale Fasanya, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, said the Agric-business development and empowerment programme and the National Agripreneuship Training Scheme (NATS) is designed to provide functional knowledge and skill upgrade to start-ups and existing cooperative societies.
The DG, was represented by Mr Uhoboso Abilo, Bayelsa State Manager SMEDAN.
He said commodity associations engaged in the Agricultural value-chain, in order to unleash and reinforce agricultural transformation in the state.
According to him, it is a complete handholding programme comprising of sensitization/awareness creatiin, Agripreneuship Training and mechinery support to each coorperative.
He said: “The agribusiness development and empowerment programme has two components, namely National Agripreneuship Training Scheme (NATS), which provides functional knowledge and skills upgrade to start-ups and members of existing cooperative society.
“Secondly,Product and Marketing Enhancement Scheme (PAMES). Due to the challenges Agripreneurs face in enhancing their products for regulatory certification and market access, SMEDAN developed PAMES to assist those with market-ready products get regulatory certifications.
“Those Agripreneurs without market-ready products are also handheld to transit their businesses from production to product enhancement to local and international market,” he said.
Fasanya, said the share of Agriculture in Nigeria’s total export earnings remains small compared to crude oil exports. In 2019 agriculture accounted for less than 2% of total exports relative to crude oil (76.5%).
He said NATS programme will empower the participants by integrating entrepreneurial skills and knowledge into modern Agricultural practises to produce Agripreneurs who will be confident enough to run and grow sustainable and profitable Agricultural enterprises.
The DG, said a total of 256 Agricultural coorperative societies comprising of 2,560 members in 16 states; namely Kwara, Zamfara, Taraba, Cross River, Ebonyi, Osun, Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Enugu, Abia, Ondo, Ogun, Delta Bauchi and Yobe have benefited from the programme since 2020.
He explained that the programme took off in Bayelsa, Lagos, and Oyo states and will hold in 12 other states comprising of Ekiti, Anambra, Imo, Rivers, Karina, Kano, Sokoto Niger, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Gombe within the month.
On his part, Mr Stanley Braboke, Commissioner for Labour Employment and Productivity, urged the participants to take the training seriously for it will be of immense benefit to them.
He said that the Bayelsa government is ready to and happy to partner with SMEDAN, for the benefit of youths and women of Bayelsa.
The Commissioner, said before now Bayelsa has not been benefiting from such programme, but that since the emergence of the current administration things like this have been coming to the state.
“Please listen and learn for it will be of great importance to you tomorrow, you can be employers of labour.
“Do not look down on the training for so many persons have achieved sucess from opportunities like this, you can start small then allow it to grow to your expectations,” he said.
Aslo speaking, Mr Suowari Tombra, Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank, said SMEDAN is looking at the Agriculture sector because it has the potential to uplift any household in Nigeria.
He said agriculture is the only business allow by law to be engaged as civil servants, which he urged them to put in their best.
Tombra, said the bank often gives grants to start-ups in the sector or even loans as so many people are moving from crude oil to agriculture.
Kindly contact us @ Naijalivetv@gmail.com
Call or Whatsapp: 07035262029, 07016666694, 08129340000