AGRI- PRENUERSHIP , PANACEA TO WHITE- COLLAR JOBS- SEN BALOGUN
Senator Kola Balogun has urged youths across the country to embrace training skills in agriculture, noting that agric-preneurship is the most viable alternative to dwinding and non-existing white-collar jobs.
The senator, who represents Oyo South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said this at the closing ceremony of a three-day agriculture training and empowerment programme for youths selected from the senatorial district.
The programme, second of such training facilitated by Senator Balogun within the year, was recently held at the Institute of Agriculture Research and Training (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan.
The senator, in a statement by his media aide, Dapo Falade, declared that the white-jobs are no more available, and urged youths to embrace agriculture and its value chains as a means to earn a good living.
Senator Balogun was represented at the closing ceremony by the Head of Administration of his office, Alhaji Adebayo Aruna and two other staff members, Hon Adeniyi Ajani ( Possible) and Dr Hamzaat Kayode
Alhaji Aruna disclosed that the three-day programme was specifically designed to meet the areas of needs of the beneficiaries in accordance with the peculiarities of their different local government areas within the senatorial district.
“I will urge you, the participants at this training and empowerment programme not to take it for granted. There is less and less of white-collar jobs in the various parts of the country.
“The truth is that there are no more jobs to day. What you learnt in the last three days is what money cannot buy. Please don’t play with what you learnt.
“What you learnt is a deep; what you learnt is value chain in agriculture. It is about knowing the business you can do within the agriculture to make money for yourself.
“This is an opportunity you have to make a good business out of agriculture. Please, don’t miss it. Learning entrepreneurship is money on its own. You should tap into it,” he said.
Alhaji Aruna also disclosed that the beneficiaries were told to submit their WhatsApp numbers as part of the process to monitor the progress they are making in putting into practical what they learnt from the programme.
Also in his closing remarks, the Deputy Director of IAR&T, Dr Jelili Saka, urged the beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity provided by the programme to attain self-economic reliance.
He thanked Senator Balogun for facilitating the programme, adding that it gave the institute the opportunity to serve the country in the area of agriculture training and empowerment.
As a feedback system and progress report, Dr Saka said those who benefitted from the first training were also invited as participants in the second one so as to serve as mentors to the beneficiaries of the second training.
He said the institute would make past trainees resource persons in subsequent trainings and urged all the beneficiaries to always approach the management of IAR&T in their quest for more knowledge about agric-preneurship.
The participants at the two trainings were full of praises for Senator Balogun for giving them the opportunity to benefit from the programme and urged him to facilitate more for the benefit of the people of Oyo South Senatorial District.
The beneficiaries, were trained in livestock, including poultry, goat-rearing, snailry, rabbitry and cropping, were given a total sum of N100,000 each to cover their transportation, accommodation and to start their businesses.
Boluwaji Abiona, a graduate of Aquacultural Fishery from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) who partook in the first and second trainings, disclosed that he is doing well in his fishery business, having been empowered during the first training.
Olayiwola Opeyemi and Afolabi Taiwo (Ido Local Government Area), Jimoh Adekunle Saheed (Ibadan South-East), Raji Oluwatosin (Ibadan North-East) and Ogunbowale Sunday (Ibarapa Central) all expressed their satisfaction with the training programme.
Ogunbowale and Afolabi said the beneficiaries should be properly monitored to ensure that the money given to them to start their businesses get to them and properly utilised.