IFAD-VCDP trains 60 youths on farm management

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has trained 60 youths from three states on farm machinery management in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
The state Programme Officer, Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), IFAD, Mr Nnamdi Aguncha, stated this in Onitsha.
VCDP is an intervention programme by IFAD for rice and cassava production.
Aguncha said the youth, selected from Anambra, Ebonyi and Ogun states, converged on Awka for the training to boost rice and cassava production.
“The workshop, which centered on practical demonstration of the various ways of using the simple farm implements is to reduce drudgery and to encourage youths to take up agriculture as a business.
“We conducted a survey in 2018 where we discovered that the population of youths in agriculture under the VCDP was low.
“So, we looked inward and discovered that farming was tedious for them; and so, we decided to introduce some machinery to attract and support them,” he said.
He said the youth were being trained on use of equipment like threshers, power tillers, de-stoners, harvesters and manual/mechanical transplanters, among the 20 farm implements.
“We intend to support them with these machineries to create jobs for them and to use the machines to render services that will lead to increased production of rice and cassava.
“The trainees will step down the skills acquired to others when they returned to their base,” he said.
He said IFAD-VCDP will support the youth with 70 per cent cost of any implement chosen by any group that had made available their 30 per cent matching grant.
Aguncha expressed hope that the training and support would rekindle youths’ interest in agriculture.