President Goodluck Jonathan has launched the National Schools Agriculture Programme (NSAP). The programme will ensure the building of technical and entrepreneurship skills in the students with a view to running agriculture as a business. It will also equip school leavers with practical skills geared towards self-employment as well as to enable youths to develop a positive attitude towards agriculture.
The pilot phase of the programme tagged: ‘School Agribusiness Club (SAC)’ is to be established in selected schools from 12 states of the federation across the six geo-political zones, and each club will comprise 120 students. The programme will also focus on food/vegetable production, horticulture, aquiculture, poultry, apiary, livestock, production, small scale irrigation, nutrition, processing, and packaging and entrepreneurial skills for members of the SAC.
President Jonathan stressed that government was seeking to develop agricultural business like the soccer which has different age grade teams, all in a bid to bridge the gap between the old and young. President Jonathan disclosed that he would be meeting with them once a year at an annual exhibition, urging state governments to key into the programme and avoid playing politics with it. An estimated 4, 400 students are expected to be involved in the initiative, while about half a million youths will benefit from it.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, said: “We need young people in agriculture and we need to put the hoes and cutlasses in the museum where they belong. “This further strengthens our resolve to modernise agriculture,” he said, adding that: “All the schools will be duly registered under the e-wallet GES system.”