IFADBy Abubakar Hassan

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) value chain programme has created over 3000 jobs to youths in the eight participating local government areas of Niger State.

The state Coordinator of IFAD, Dr. Mathew Ahmed stated this during a Weekly Radio Niger Audience Participatory programme, “Contact,” Saturday.

He said youths who were the beneficiaries of the programme particularly around Kanko community of Upper Niger River Basin in Wushishi local government area prefer to engage themselves in agriculture than taking government jobs.

Dr. Mathew said IFAD was able to create jobs across the production line, trained some youths under agricultural mechanization and also provided grants to the beneficiaries, as several of them have power-tillers and were providing services to their communities.

He added that they have trained youths in seed productions and several states in Nigeria were requesting for the services of the beneficiaries of the programme to come and train their youths, saying a lot of beneficiaries of the IFAD projects were today millionaires.

“I remember the Governor of Akwa Ibom state placed a call on us to send some of our youths to come and train their youths in Akwa Ibom and they were well paid after the three month training. So we have created a lot of jobs not only under value chain but across other agencies,” he said.

Dr. Mathew also disclosed that even FADAMA had created a lot of jobs to the teaming youths of Niger state, as they trained them in collaboration with some international organizations such as IITA Ibadan and African Rice to go into production of rice and today several of them were also creating jobs for others.

He said there are youths in Wushishi local government, who were now company owners and employers of labour, and had also registered their companies with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), particularly one Aminu Ndakogi who has over 20 staff working under him and paying them monthly salary.

He also disclosed that at processing centres across the state, there were volumes of productions going on there, citing example with the Argungu Rice Processing Cluster in Kontagora, saying there were a lot of women whose lives have been changed through rice production and processing.

Dr. Mathew added that there were a lot of jobs created and other opportunities at both the production, processing and marketing level of agricultural production.

He also disclosed that some youths have been trained under Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) on how to maintain roads and were placed on monthly salary, saying these were jobs creation taking place under agriculture in the state ministry of agriculture and rural development.