The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal has urged youths to take advantage of the World Bank – assisted N200 million agro processing, productivity enhancement and livelihood improvement support (APPEALS) project to create jobs and ensure food and nutrition security.
He spoke at the screening of shortlisted applicants for the project in Lagos on Tuesday.
Lawal said agriculture and agribusiness have an invaluable and untapped potential to address youth unemployment.
According to him, Lagos has been involved in the last 20 years in several initiatives to accelerate youth employment in agriculture and agribusiness.
The main focus of the government, he explained, is to provide technical assistance, capacity development and knowledge exchange to youth enterprises by prioritising agricultural value chains.
He said integrating youth in agriculture and agribusiness is a key priority for the state government, adding that as such, the government is promoting youth employment and self-employment as part of the development momentum.
On APPEALS, he said the goal of the project is to increase productivity and improve processing and marketing of targeted value chains, which included rice, poultry and aquaculture for Lagos.
He explained that of 10,000 applications, 2000 people were shortlisted, including the physically challenged.
He assured that the beneficiaries will be supported to contribute to the restoration of agricultural livelihoods in the state.
The State Project Coordinator, Mrs. Oluranti Oviebo said the project is meant to improve food security and nutrition and increase the incomes of households.
According to her, the project is designed to promote poverty reduction amongst producers to enable inclusive economic growth and sustainable livelihoods development.
The National Programme Officer, Dr Salisu Garba said the APPEALS are implemented in six states of the federation.
Aside Lagos, others are Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Enugu and Cross Rivers states.