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The State Employment and Expenditure For Results Project (SEEFOR), an intervention project of the World Bank and European Union (EU), in collaboration with Songhai Delta have empowered 250 youths in tomatoes farming.
The Delta Coordinator of SEEFOR, Mr Benson Ojoko, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Asaba.
Ojoko said that the empowerment programme, which started on June 28, would focus on hybrid tomatoes farming.
He said that the programme would last for two weeks, adding that at the end of the training beneficiaries would be provided with starter packs to enable them take off.
The coordinator said that the programme being the maiden edition had three focus areas, adding that Songhai Delta would be empowered to be able to carry out the training programme.
“For this year’s training programme, we are focusing on crop production and we are going to train and empower them in the production of high breed tomatoes variety.
“The areas are to improve the learning environment, to build the capacity of instructors and teachers as well as to empower the youths of Delta.
“On the improvement plan, there is provision for fund for acquisition of irrigation materials that will enable the youths to carry out all year round farming.
“There is also provision for nursery where all the seedlings will be nurtured before transferring them to one place or the other, there is also provision for daily consumable all through the training period,” Ojoko said.
Ojoko said that the essence of the training programme was to assist the young farmers in expanding their knowledge base on high breed tomatoes farming.
He said that the training would also help to boost their productivity.
The coordinator, however, recalled that since 2014, SEEFOR had been in serious engagement with the World Bank on how to diversify its areas of intervention to include empowerment in agriculture entrepreneurial skills.
He said that SEEFOR had been supporting six technical colleges owned by Delta government and had also diversified to support three vocational training centres located in the three senatorial districts of the state.
He said that Agbor Technical College, Sapele Technical College, Utogba-ogbe Technical College and Ogor Technical College among others had benefited from the grants from the programme.
“The essence of the grant to the various technical and vocational institutions was to fund activities that were documented in the schools in order to improve the learning environment of the students.
“Since the initiation of these grants to technical colleges and vocation institutions in the state, the numbers of students’ enrolment in the institutions have increased.
“By May this year, World Bank gave us the approval for the intervention in agriculture,” he said.