The federal government has disclosed its plans to introduce a comprehensive agricultural programme to all students at the secondary school level as part of its effort to ensuring the diversification of nation’s economy.
This is in an effort to prepare school leavers to be self-employed.
At a media briefing briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Schools Agriculture Programme, Baraka Sani, said the project was aimed at the aquisition and development of practical skills and knowledge of the students to agricultural activities, as well as equipping school leavers for job opportunities.
She said the initiative which is in line with the vision 202020 and Agriculture Transformation Agenda would focus on food/vegetable production, including small scale irrigation, fisheries and aqua-culture, poultry, nutrition, processing and packaging, apiarist training for honey production, among others.
“The program is intended to engender the interest of young Nigerians in agro business as a viable means of employment. This will subsequently lead to the creation of a new generation of committed young practical farmers who will act as catalysts for agriculture in their communities, enriched with practical skills for life” she noted.
According to her, the pilot phase of the project will witness the establishment of ‘Students’ Agriculture Club’ in selected schools from 12 states of the federation, two from each geo-political zones, with each club comprising approximately 120members.
Expressing optimism on a multiplier effect of the program in the respective households, especially in poverty eradication and job creation at the rural levels, the presidential aide said it would accelerate the capacity building of the youths in agriculture, as well as serve as linchpin for development of participants.
She urged the students to take advantage of the laudable program to harness the enormous opportunities contained in Agriculture for national development and bridging the existing inequality gap in the system.