Participants at the programme

Two hundred successful applicants for the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (L.A.P.) under the State Government Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-Yes) on Monday resumed for the one-month training programme at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal who disclosed this today in Alausa noted that the Programme is in furtherance of the State Government’s objective of training no fewer than 15,000 youths and women, within the next four year, in the various agricultural value chains.

Lawal explained that the training programme is a platform for agripreneurs to enhance their skills and improve their socio economic capacity in the various agricultural value chains such as poultry, piggery, aquaculture and vegetables.

In his words, “the current reality and exigencies of job creation for the teeming youth population and attainment of food security require that a more aggressive, strategic and efficient approach be employed in the training and empowerment of women and youth if Lagos State is to achieve a significant reduction of unemployment, create more jobs and wealth and also significantly enhance food security in the State by year 2023.

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“Hence the introduction of the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (L. A.P) under the Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-Yes) which aims to train 15,000 women and youths at the training facilities across the State by the year 2023.”

Lawal pointed out that the training is expected to produce 2,000 Agro-Entrepreneurs who would in turn become job creators, thereby promoting food security and improving the nutrition and general well-being of Lagosians.

He added that the training would also enhance the economic activities of the surrounding communities; reduce the overall rate of unemployment; reduce crime rate within the State; and promote the State’s target of producing at least 25% of the food consumed by residents of the State before the end of year 2025.

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The Commissioner pointed out that after the one-month training, participants would be encouraged to form Cooperative Agricultural Multipurpose Societies (C.A.M.S.) according to their enterprises in order to better position them to attract funding.

According to him, government on its part would partner with existing farms and agribusinesses with a view to attaching participants to agribusinesses closest to their location of residence for internship pending linkage to sources of finance.

“Government would also facilitate access to financing through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), CBN Intervention programmes such as Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), and the World Bank Assisted Projects such as the Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Programme among others,” the Commissioner said.