By Adelola Amihere
As part of measures geared towards ensuring food security as well as create employment for her teeming youth population, President Mohammadu Buhari has approved the engagement pf over 30,000 youths across the country in agricultural extention services, soil mapping and soil testing.the Executive Director of the National Agricultural Development Agency Paul Ikonne has said.
Ikome made the disclosure while unveiling the plans of the Federal government during a monthly briefing of the press on the agency’s activities yesterday in Abuja said President Buhari is fully apt in achieving food security in the country.
He said the President has mandated NALDA to work towards ensuring that the soil begin to yield maximum output and farmers begin to get returns on their investments.
He pointed out that unemployed youths with background in Agriculture or pure sciences would be provided with two weeks intensive training on extention services, soil mapping and soil testing so as to be able to acquire knowledge on soil testing collection.
The beneficiaries would not only be provided with free training but would also be equipped with soil testing kits and farmers would be made to pay N500 per sample collection while NALDA bears the remaining cost.
On the selection mode, thw ES said thw agency had written to state governors to provide thwm with lists of Agriculture graduates, saying some of them (Governors) have responded and sent the list to them.
He said to ensure the COVID-19 protocolis strictly followed the youths would be engage in batches of 20, adding that after the training they would be made to download a phone application that would enable them to collect real time data.
The data according to Ikonne would help in future planning on the fertilizer usage and the type of assistance needed by the farmers.
He further disclosed that they are collaborating with the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science saying the provost of the Institute also atteested to fact that capacity building of manpower has been the missing link in achieving their goals.