Chevron Nigeria Limited in joint collaboration with the Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) has launched Youths Cassava Enterprise Project in Ondo State.
The project which started with 40 graduates in its pilot phase is also in partnership with the states Wealth Creation Agency (WECA).
While speaking at the launch, Jeffery Ewing, Director, Deepwater and Production Sharing Contracts of Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, said the initiative is aimed at empowering and encouraging young Nigerians to venture into farming and make it a career.
“We believe the cassava project will have a tremendous impact on the youths in Ondo state through employment creation, poverty reduction, skill acquisition and livelihood improvement,” he said.
According to Ewing, the initiative will also support the development of rural cottage industries to ensure the growth of the local economy while also confirming that it will no doubt boost the government’s efforts in making agriculture a significant revenue yielding sector in the country.
The program Director of PIND, Dr Dara Akala, on his part said the 40 selected youths to pilot the project are meant to become a new class of farmers adding that our farmers are aging, hence the need to replace them with professionals.
Earlier Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, in his remarks said the project is a confirmation of his administration’s commitment toward agricultural development.
He added that, the government’s steps to tackle youth unemployment through various agricultural initiatives have attracted the interest of a lot of private organisation to partner with the state.