Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has flagged off an agricultural empowerment programme for youths in the state.
The empowerment scheme involves the rearing and sales of rabbits.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony on Friday, Mr Uzodinma said he is determined to engage youths in productive ventures that will guarantee their meaningful employment.
“We have flagged-off the commencement of the empowerment of our youths through agriculture and the official handover of the Imo State office of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) at Okigwe road Owerri as Imo is the pilot State and South East Zonal Head Office.
“It is worthy of mention that the Federal Government, through NALDA, has empowered 250 beneficiaries from Imo State on rabbit farming as it flagged off the second phase of the NALDA empowerment scheme for young farmers in the area of rabbit breeding and rearing.
“The NALDA is saddled with the mandate of harnessing the full potentials of the vast arable lands in Nigeria for the purpose of empowering and supporting small holder farmers both on large scale and mechanized scales.
“I thank the Presidency for this initiative aimed at empowering our youths and growing the economy. I also thank the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Mr. Paul Ikonne for all the support.
“I have always maintained that the most effective way to ensure sustained socio-economic development in Nigeria and Imo State, in particular, is to engage youths in productive ventures that will guarantee their meaningful employment.
“This programme will guarantee food security, empower youths and reduce restiveness amongst other benefits and so engaging 774,000 youths across the nation would stimulate huge economic growth. These efforts will lead to food and fibre security and assist in diversifying the nation’s economy, improving household income and enhancing revenue mobilization and generation nationwide.”
“The government has provided enabling environment for them, including being their primary off-takers, ready to purchase whatever they produce.
“To this end, I urge the beneficiaries to take the business seriously,” the governor said.