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The Delta State Government through the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Programme (YAGEP) under the SMART Agenda says it has trained a total of 782 unemployed youths in various agricultural skills, particularly in poultry, piggery, fishery and crop production across the state.
The Chief Job Creation Officers, Prof. Eric Eboh, who disclosed this during a media tour to YAGEP farm cluster at Deghele and Ugbokodo-Okpe, said that the training cut across graduates, school leavers and persons with disabilities.
He explained that YAGEP was an integral element of twin strategy to tackle youth unemployment and transform agricultural value chain in the state.
While affirming that the state had established a total of 25 farm enterprise clusters, as owners and managers across the state, he explained that the clusters were vital for sustainable youth interest in agriculture, demonstrating improved agricultural technologies and practices and promoting enterprise viability, as well as ensuring high level of productivity and sustainability.
He pointed out that the government of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was succeeding in using agricultural value chain to positively affect the lives of Deltans, adding that the cluster model was yielding the desired impact in transforming the agricultural landscape and prosperity in the state.
At the Deghele YAGEP Rice Farm Cluster in Sapele Local Government Area, established this year, Prof. Eboh disclosed that the farm occupy an expanse of 42 Hectares of land.
Conducting the media team round the farm, where 21 persons are being trained for rice production, Prof Eboh noted that there was room for expansion.
He charged the trainees, who were seen working even at point of visit, to always be dedicated and ensure that they came out as successful trainees.
At Ugbokodo-Okpe YAGEP Fish Cluster in Okpe Local Government Area, Prof. Eboh, who took media men round the 244 ponds, said that the farm was the largest cluster in the state.
While assuring the farmers of government’s continued assistance, the Chief Job Creation Officer advised the YAGEP trainees to live in peace with the host community, adding that the fish ponds were established with 154 ponds last year, with additional 90 ponds this year.
In an interview, Mr Victor Ukereti and Mr Baya Fabor both beneficiaries of YAGEP programme, commended the state government for evolving the laudable agricultural programme in the state.
They called on youths in the state to embrace the various developmental efforts of the state government and also appeal that the training to other youths.