As part of efforts to tackle unemployment in the country, the Federal Government on Friday said it was targeting five million jobs in the agricultural sector to engage youths, women and the vulnerable to integrate them into the nation’s economy.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, revealed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed at the Government House in Bauchi.
Shehuri informed that about 1, 138,000 farmers have so far benefited in the agricultural job creation initiative of the President in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), under the first phase in the 2020 farming season.
The minister disclosed that the Federal Government would employ one million youths to serve as village agents, adding that 15,000 youths from Bauchi State had been employed as enumerators.
“In partnership with the state governments, the Federal Government is employing one million youths to serve as village agents. In Bauchi State, over 15,000 youths were employed to serve as enumerators,” he informed.
Shehuri further infirmed that the Buhari administration was concerned by the plight of poultry farmers, particularly the high cost of poultry feeds, adding that the administration had directed that 5,000 metric tonnes of grains be released from the strategic food reserve
He assured that the Federal Government would continue to support rice farmers in Bauchi State, which he said had the potential for rice farming adding that the state currently had five aggregations centred.
Responding, Governor Mohammed, commended the Federal Government’s initiative in boosting agriculture and rural development, declaring that agriculture is so critical in the efforts aimed at diversifying the country’s economy and enhancing growth and development in the country.
“Your ministry is so critical in developing the GDP in a manner that we can exit over-dependence on government contracts and patronage and therefore your.
Youth empowerment support to agriculture and extension services that you give are so critical to us in the state,” he said.