By Onoriode Etatsami
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) and Synergy Impact Development, is organizing a five day capacity building training programme for selected National Youth Service Corps members in Delta state.
The event which is holding in the Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute Secretariat, Sapele, was formerly declared opened by the Executive Director of NSPRI, Dr. Patricia Pessu.
Speaking at the event, the Executive, Director of NSPRI, Dr. Patricia Pessu informed the corps members and participants that agriculture is the biggest job provider in the country.
She said “farmers were unable to derive optimal benefit for their efforts in agriculture, as a result of the Nigerian ecosystem.”
“Millions of young people in Nigeria are either unemployed or under employed. The unemployment rate in Nigeria as at 2020 had risen to 33.3% representing 22.3 million people.” She added.
According to Dr. Pessu, “Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute has a mandate to conduct research and develop innovative technologies to minimize post-harvest losses of farm produce and to also maintain food safety and security in the country.”
She asserted that through the training, participants would be exposed to the numerous opportunities in the Nigerian value chain, food storage modalities and creation of value for themselves and the society.
The State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, Mr. Alao Olusegun, represented by Mrs. Bazuaye Gloria said l “the programme is packaged to provide knowledge and skills in agricultural commodities.”
Mr. Olusegun disclosed that “participants of the programme would be equipped to solve the problem of unemployment among graduates in the country.”
Other speakers who spoke during the opening ceremony included the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delta State, represented by Mr. Edwin Odiete.
He charged the corps members to put into practice what they would learn from the training and use it to create jobs and wealth for themselves and other people. He stated that “education is not an end to itself, but a means to an end.”
The high point of the ceremony was the presentation of two million naira and a starter pack to Mr.Moraina Sikiru Boluwatife, a Corps member who participated in the training held in 2020 at Kwara state.
Some of the beneficiaries of the training workshop who spoke with journalists at the event, commended the initiatives of the federal government team led by its Executive Director, Dr Patricia Pessu and the NSPRI branch headquarters in Sapele Delta State headed by Dr. Agoda Samuel for the transformation in the life of corps members after service year.