FUNAAB, IITA to Partner, to Curb Unemployment

As part of efforts to promote youth entrepreneurship and provide employment in agricultural sector in the country, the Empowering Novel Agri-Business Led Empowerment (ENABLE), Nigerian team, from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan recently visited the University to strategise on how FUNAAB can partner with the organisation.

The Director-General of ENABLE, represented by Mr. Zoumana Bamba, said that the project was aimed at engaging Nigerian youths in agriculture. He noted that out of 70 million Nigerian youths, between the ages of 15 and 34, 12.8 million were unemployed (as at March, 2016), while about 15 million youths were under-employed. Mr. Zoumana added that the ENABLE youth programme entailed a collaboration between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and IITA, having about 30 African countries participating in the programme, which is aimed at agribusiness creation, job creation and ensuring gender balance with five years project duration, involving graduate youths and an incubation period for the programme of between 12 to18 months.

The Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who is also the President, Association of African Universities (AAU), had applauded the team for its concerted efforts at engaging youths in agriculture. He, therefore, promised that an enabling environment would be created for the take-off of the programme in FUNAAB. Speaking earlier, Mr. Zoumana Bamba highlighted the project components, to be at federal and state levels, by leveraging on the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System, development of bankable business proposal as an individual or group and access loan without collateral. He added that the expected outcome of the project include 1,000 agripreneurs to be empowered in each state including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in which 250,000 jobs are to be created on yearly basis, as well as $50,000 to $100,000 investment loan, per agribusiness. In addition, Mr. Bamba added that the expected roles of FUNAAB in the programme were to create an enabling environment for the incubation, start-up business and support in the development of agribusiness curriculum.