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*launches youths in Agribusiness initiative
*By Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan.
Governor Makinde has truly demonstrated that he is a visionary leader with series of peoples oriented projects embarked upon within his two years in office as the Executive Governor of Oyo State.
With the commissioning of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) headquarters complex in Saki and also the  launch of the Youths Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project (YEAP) training for youths at the OYSADA on Monday, 30th May 2021, Governor Makinde has again proven that he is indeed ready to expand the economic and human capacity’s of the State for future development.
Governor Makinde while speaking during the launching of the YEAP,  said the government decided to rehabilitate the facilities at the defunct OYSADEP Complex and make it the headquarters of agribusiness in Oyo State because it was commonsensical to do, as Oke-Ogun zone has been the food basket of Oyo State.
He stated that apart from the commissioning, the government was “also taking the opportunity to expand the Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project initiative”, which it piloted a while back.
“We gave 100 youths the opportunity to undergo training in agribusiness and entrepreneurship, and the reports I have received so far shows that the pilot was a success,” he said.
“Some of the youths involved in the pilot programme are presently running internships at selected private agribusiness organisations which are partnering with the Oyo State Government.
“So, this is one of our government-led and private sector supported projects. Today, we are giving another 1,000 youths the opportunity to be trained in agribusiness.
“Let me congratulate the 1,000 youths that have qualified to be the pioneer class of our Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project. I am also happy that all administrative activities regarding this programme will run from here.
“With this commissioning, we are taking another giant leap towards the development and opening of this area.
“All the former staff of OYSADEP that were moved to OYSADA have now relocated to Saki. This facility will now become the seat where all agribusiness transactions will be made.
“The staff are now closer to the people that need them. This will have a multiplier effect on the economic activities in this zone.”
He added that the development will attract Agribusiness investors to the OYSADA headquarters in Saki which in turn would create economic opportunities for hospitality and other related businesses.
The Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agribusiness and the Director-General of OYSADA, Dr. Debo Akande, speaking during the commissioning of OYSADA Complex, said the YEAP training will develop selected beneficiaries in areas of Agribusiness enterprise development spread across the five regions of Oyo State.
The OYSADA DG revealed the YEAP programme will anchor six different aspects of agriculture including the tomato value chain, vegetable value chain, cereal value chain, livestock value chain, root and tuber value chain, and seed production.
Speaking at the launching of the YEAP  initiative, Dr. Akande said the primary objective of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) is to create an enabling environment for agribusinesses to thrive by supporting infrastructural development and market-oriented policy formulation.
He said the youths being developed will soon become employers of labour themselves, contributing to development of the State with not less than 37% IGR.
The Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Project is one of several human capacity projects under OYSADA’s Oyo State Youth In Agribusiness Development Programme which seeks to provide women and youth with technical and entrepreneurship training to exploit emerging opportunities in Agribusiness.
The YEAP training is designed to also provide mentorships and support networks to the beneficaries, as well as start-up grants to help them establish successful agribusiness enterprises. The program is as well designed towards empowering youths to make choices and chase their dreams, as well as building tomorrow’s agribusiness leaders.
“As an agency, we are committed to building the youths, which in turn will build the future of the State, through agriculture we are working to ensure that our youths are well looking and well behaved in the society.
‘We are ensuring that those youths are keying into rearing of livestock and seed food production among many others to reduce numbers of unemployment rates in the state,” Dr. Akande stressed.
Dr. Akande also commend the efforts of the State Governor, Engr.Seyi Makinde for the laudable program targeted at empowering the youths across the State. He lauded the Governor for the continued support given to OYSADA as an agency in making lives more meaningful to the youths across the state.
A beneficiary, Mr. Idris Akinteye from Kajola Local Government, Oke Ogun Axis who spoke with SWIndependent.com.ng said “this is my first time of being in this kind of gathering, and I really commend Governor Makinde for this laudable program, with this I can say that youths in the State have a brighter future.
Also in his reaction another beneficiary Mr. Mustapha Ridwan from Saki East Sepeteri, said I must commend the  selection process of this program, as it is not based on politics, or having
connection with politicians, I obtained my form online and I was called that I’m qualified for the program, and this is great, with this development, I believe the future of the State is very bright.”
The event was also attended by Oyo State deputy governor Engr. Rauf Olaniyan, The Speaker of the Oyo state House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Debo Ogundoyin, commissioners for Agriculture and Rural Development, Youth and Sport, and various government officials.

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