IFAD-Agrihub and Soilless Farm Lab trains youth on hydroponics

The Rural Youth Employment Opportunities: Support to Integrated Agribusiness Hubs in Nigeria (IFAD-Agrihub) has collaborated with the Soilless Farm Lab to train 30 youths on hydroponic vegetable production, aquaculture and rabbit farming in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The 3 months training is targeted at exposing the selected beneficiaries of IFAD Agrihub project to the business environment of the mentioned enterprises, – making economic decisions in business, farm operations, financial development for loan applications, business plan development, pitch deck development, records management, human resource management and sales promotion and others.

The training, which commenced in May, will be concluded in August while beneficiaries will be posted for practical work at the Soilless Farm Lab and other farms as part of experiential learnings. At the end of the training, the beneficiaries are expected to either start their own businesses or become employed in an agribusiness firm.

Speaking about their experiences at the training, one of the beneficiaries, Edjegba Nathaniel said he has previously tried his hand at some agricultural ventures, but could not get the desired result due to lack of skills and knowledge.

“When I saw the advertisement for this training online, I eagerly applied to update my skills and knowledge. From the training, I expect to gain the relevant skills and knowledge that are relevant in the agricultural sector to find employment,” he said.

Adewale Tawakalit is on the entrepreneurship track of the training, she noted that her perception about agriculture is now profit oriented.

“From the orientation to the on-farm training, I was able to change my ideas about farming. Farming should not be done in a cruel way, like our ancestors did. Now I see agriculture as a way to make money and help my immediate community by employing others when I start my business,” she stated.

After completing the training, beneficiaries on the employment track of the project can take advantage of the project’s partnerships with Soilless Farm Lab and other attachment farms to secure employment while those on the entrepreneurship track can take advantage of credit facilities from selected and reputable financial institutions to start independent agribusiness enterprises.

The Rural Youth Employment Opportunities: Support to Integrated Agribusiness Hubs in Nigeria (IFAD-Agrihub) is a five-year project that aims to assist beneficiaries develop skills that will make them employable and better agripreneurs when they start their businesses. IITA is leading the project in collaboration with APDC and other partner farms and enterprises in the 6 geo-political zones of the country.