Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained and sensitised some 150 youths and women on Agric related business development empowerment programme, (ADEP) in Bayelsa. The training workshop took place Tuesday at the State Secretariat Complex Annex 5 in Yenagoa According to Mr Olawale Fasanya, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, SMEDAN, “the Agric-business development and empowerment programme and the National Agripreneuship Training Scheme (NATS) is designed to provide functional knowledge and skill upgrade to start-ups and existing cooperative societies.”
Represented by Mr. Uhoboso Abilo, Bayelsa State Manager, SMEDAN, he said: “The agribusiness development and empowerment programme has two components, namely National Agripreneuship Training Scheme (NATS), which provides functional knowledge and skills upgrade to start-ups and members of existing cooperative society. “Secondly, due to the challenges Agripreneurs face in enhancing their products for regulatory certification and market access, SMEDAN developed Product and Marketing Enhancement Scheme (PAMES) to assist those with market-ready products get regulatory certifications. Those Agripreneurs without market-ready products are also handheld to transit their businesses from production to product enhancement to local and international market.”
Fasanya, said the share of Agriculture in Nigeria’s total export earnings remains small compared to crude oil exports adding, “NATS programme will empower the participants by integrating entrepreneurial skills and knowledge into modern Agricultural practices to produce Agripreneurs who will be confident enough to run and grow sustainable and profitable agricultural enterprises.” He said a total of 256 Agricultural cooperative societies comprising of 2,560 members in 16 states; namely Kwara, Zamfara, Taraba, Cross River, Ebonyi, Osun, Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Enugu, Abia, Ondo, Ogun, Delta Bauchi and Yobe have benefited from the programme since 2020. He said that the programme took off in Bayelsa, Lagos, and Oyo states and will hold in 12 other states comprising of Ekiti, Anambra, Imo, Rivers, Karina, Kano, Sokoto Niger, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Gombe within the month.
In his remarks, Mr Stanley Braboke, Commissioner for Labour Employment and Productivity, urged the participants to take the training seriously for it will be of immense benefit to them. “Please listen and learn for it will be of great importance to you tomorrow, you can be employers of labour. Do not look down on the training for so many persons have achieved success from opportunities like this. You can start small then allow it to grow to your expectations,” he said.