Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor has said that the federal government is set to provide 360,000 jobs in the agriculture sector for youths nationwide.
Emefiele disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the operational framework for the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), under which the jobs will be created.
He said AADS was targeted primarily at unemployed youths between the ages of 18 and 35.
Emefiele said through the scheme, a minimum of 10,000 youths in each state, willing to engage in sustainable and profitable activities along the agriculture value chain, would be employed and trained.
“I believe we are on the verge of something very significant with the AADS.
“This scheme has been designed to create an ecosystem with the active participation of the public sector, state governments and the private sector,’’ he said.
Emefiele said the objectives of AADS included the creation of economy of scale of farming on contiguous land.
“It will also assist farmers in embracing modern farming practices, such as use of tractors and irrigation schemes.
“It aims to reduce cost of production with availability of high quality inputs at competitive prices and lowering delivery cost of extension services,’’ he explained.
Emefiele said that state governments were expected to provide contiguous arable land, basic infrastructure, more efficient extension services, training and mentoring of the beneficiaries.
“The CBN on its part will provide financing at single digit interest rates.
“Beneficiaries are not expected to come up with any physical collateral but they must be grouped into formally registered cooperatives and cross-guarantee each other.
“All loan beneficiaries must also have valid Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), which will be registered on the National Collateral Registry and used to track repayments and also blacklist any defaulters”, he added.