The Nigeria Incentives Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) is confident that Nigerian youths will make good fortunes from exploring agriculture potentials. NIRSAL Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Aliyu Abdulhameed, said this in Kaduna at a workshop organised by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP). He therefore enjoined youths to tap into NIRSAL Youth in Innovative Agribusiness (NYIA) , a scheme specifically designed to cater for youths desirous of taking to agriculture as a vocation.
A statement by Anne Ihugba Head, Corporate Communications at NIRSAL, quoted the CEO saying that NIRSAL youths’ desk and NIRSAL Youth in Innovative Agribusiness (NYIA) were exclusively set for youths to explore their potential in agriculture.
“The framework identifies, proposes and pursues agricultural funds and initiatives that target Nigerian youths in addition to working with proximal universities around NIRSALs Agro Geo-clusters,” he said. Alluding to a scenario where NIRSALs engagement with university students is operationalised, Abdulhameed noted that, ongoing use of Geospatial mapping to aggregate four million hectares of arable land (around the grain belt as a pilot) will be broken down into 16,000 Geo-Cooperatives of 250 hectares each, and further down to Agro Geo-Cells of 50 Hectares – all with governance structures.
“The University students will then provide agri-business services to these leaders who will in turn cascade same to the farmers in their Agro Geo-Cells,” he said. “At an average yield of four tonnes per hectare, these optimised smallholder farmers production will generate a gross output of grain product equivalent of about 16 million tonnes.
At a conservative value of N100,000 per tonne of grain, it will result to N1.6 trillion gross revenue from the four million hectares.” The NIRSAL boss noted that, this approach will capture the interest of the undergraduates and imbue them with practical skills to carry on their own agribusinesses after graduation.Source: New Telegraph