The Rivers state government has declared plans to encourage youths to embrace agriculture through the provision of necessary loan facilities.
Governor Nyesom Wike made the declaration in Port Harcourt on Monday while speaking during the celebration of this year’s World Food Day, revealing that his administration is partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that 10,000 youths between the ages of 18 and 35 access the agriculture loans.
Th Governor, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Sir Kenneth Kobani, stated that another 10,000 youths will be empowered through a partnership arrangement with Siat Nigeria Limited.
He said: “As a government, we will continue to encourage our people to go into agriculture and exploit the opportunities of agriculture.
“We will continue to support ventures and give facilities to our youths for agricultural purposes. This is to ensure that farming is made profitable across the state “.
Wike said that the more Rivers people are able to reap the benefits of Agriculture, the better for the state.
“Agriculture alone can employ more people than any other business. The oil industry is nowhere near the agricultural sector. Agriculture has the capacity to employ millions.
“What we are doing is to reduce the dependency on oil for the sustenance of our economy. The potentials of agriculture in Rivers State are infinite”, Governor Wike said.
The governor said that his administration will continue to work with farmers to ensure that the state enjoys the required food security.
“No country in the world becomes great without feeding her people “, he said.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Iheanyichukwu Nwaorgu, in an address, said the partnership between the Rivers state government and CBN will focus on two key areas, palm produce and fishery.
He said the 10,000 youths who will receive the loan facility on this programme will focus on the two areas.
The World Food Day celebration witnessed the mass exhibition of food by farmers from the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.