The Kwara State Government said it has commenced plans to engage 10,000 youth farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) newly introduced Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme. (AADS)
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon Bamidele Adekoke who gave the assurance in Ilorin, while answering questions on a Radio Kwara personality interview programme, Playing Host noted that the scheme is part of the Federal Government’s expanded Anchor Borrowers Programme. (ABP)
Adekoke disclosed that the state government would vigorously pursue and key into the scheme this year as part of efforts to reduce youth restiveness and unemployment in the state and explained that it would focus on youths within the age bracket of 18 and 35 years.
According to him , those willing to engage in the scheme which involves the state association of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) are not expected to come up with any physical collateral but only need to be grouped into registered cooperatives and cross guarantee each other.
The Commissioner explained further that all loan beneficiaries must also have valid Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) , register their names with the ministry while the state government would involve in land clearing as well as provide technical support . The commissioner disclosed that the recent trip embarked upon by the state government to China would soon start to yield results as efforts are been made to distribute tractors to the 16 Local Government Areas of the state in order to boost farming this year.
He therefore challenged the various councils in the state to secure land and embark on massive farming in line with the Agriculture policy of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administration more so that Kwara is an agrarian state and promised that fertilizers would be made available to genuine farmers.
Adekoke who served as Youth Empowerment Coordinator for Oke-Ero Local Government Area, called on other unemployed youths to key into the farming facilities provided by the state government.