The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that the 200 beneficiaries of the Ogun State Fadama III Graduate Unemployed Youths Scheme (Fadama GUYS) would be given automatic slots to be the first set of farmers to access loans from the Ogun State Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Prince Abiodun who made this known at the flag-off ceremony for Fadama Graduate Unemployed Youths Scheme (Fadama GUYS), held at the Arcade Ground, Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, said the Scheme was a unique programme which targeted two vulnerable groups of women and youths.
He observed that agriculture was becoming an antidote to poverty and insecurity in the country, adding that a gainfully employed citizen would contribute positively to the socio-economic development of the State and the country.
“I have mandated my Consultant on Agriculture to mainstream these set of FADAMA graduates into our Anchor Borrowers’ programme and by the grace of God, you will be the first beneficiaries.
“The Fadama GUYS is particularly unique because it is targeted at two main vulnerable groups of our population, the youths and the women and we are also elated that our Public Private Partnership approach towards the successful implementation of Building our Future Together agenda is already yielding positive results”, he said.
The Governor added that the Scheme at the micro-economic level would provide employment opportunities in agriculture for youths and women, while the macro-economic level would assist the country boost its food and self sufficiency agenda.
“At the micro-economic level, this Fadama GUYS provides job employment opportunities in agriculture for our youths and women, thereby providing income and food for themselves and family. The macro-economic level will boost Nigeria’s food and self sufficiency agenda which will go a long way to reduce foreign exchange spent on importation of food items that could be produced locally”, he said.
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Adetunji Oredipe said the conception and implementation of Fadama Guys has provided a unique opportunity for the programme practitioners and government to harness the energy, motivation and innovation of the young people to strengthen the drive for diversification of the economy and social change, adding that beneficiaries of the program must be a Nigerian youth ,a graduate from any higher institution or an holder of the Secondary School Leaving Certificate between the age of 18years and 35years, who had practised farming for five years .
Oredipe also added that such beneficiary must have the knowledge about the computer, have access to land where the agricultural enterprise would be cited, adding that a written statement, stating that the beneficiary was willing to become an Agri-preneur would be required.
In his good will message, the National Project Coordinator Mr. Balarabe Abdulrahman, represented by Mr. Adeleke Adeyemi said the scheme would go a long way in translating into action, the well- conceived agricultural policies of the State government in partnership with Fadama III Additional Funding (AF), saying the gesture would boost the State’s rating by the National Office and the World Bank.
He said that the Scheme would be officially closed by December 31, 2019, adding that part of the legacies and sustainability plans of the project was a paradigm shift in doing farming as a business rather than way of life.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye said the objective of the National Fadama III AF, was to increase the income of users of rural lands and water resources, in a sustainable manner throughout the country, thereby reducing poverty, while food security was enhanced, urging the beneficiary to judiciously make use of the loans.
In his response, the President, Fadama GUYS in Ogun State, Mr. Adebanjo Daniel, thanked the State government for their support, promising to prudently use the loans received.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Omoduni Odusanya, appreciated the State Governor for ordering the absorption of the Fadama III beneficiaries into the Anchor Borrowers Scheme. She also commended the initiators of the projects, for giving youths the laudable opportunity, assuring that the money would be wisely used for its purpose.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the presentation of cheques to 200 beneficiaries.