The Rural Employment Promotion is one of the core programme departments of the National Directorate of Employment charged with designing schemes to combat mass unemployment in the area of agriculture and its value chain putting into consideration the declining interest of youth in the agricultural sector.

 OBJECTIVES:

The Rural Employment Promotion (REP) Programme is designed with the following objectives;

  • Generating rural employment and improving incomes through agribusiness engagements,
  • Promoting the adoption of improved technologies in post-harvest handling, storage and processing and
  • Promoting other non-farm rural employment activities in order to stem the rural-urban drift.

 STRATEGY

The REP Programme uses training to stimulate the interest of all categories of the unemployed persons (School leavers, Graduates of tertiary institutions, Retirees, People with special needs etc.) in the rural areas to identify business opportunities in the agricultural value chain for employment and wealth creation. It builds the capacity of participants for the successful management of different demand-driven viable agri-businesses.

ACTIVITIES

REP CURRENT SCHEMES;

  • Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS)
  • Rural Agricultural Development Training Scheme (RADTS)
  • Integrated Farming and Training Scheme (IFTS)
  • NDE Agricultural Park Project
  • Agricultural Model Skills Centre

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING SCHEME (SADTS)

The Sustainable Agricultural Development Training Scheme (SADTS) is a paradigm shift from the usual Rural Agricultural Training Scheme (RADTS) training which makes the agricultural production activities to be more sustainable. The target group includes Graduate of higher institutions, School leavers and Retirees.

In 2017, the scheme was piloted in 19 States namely; FCT, Anambra, Abia, Bauchi, Cross-river, Delta, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Niger, Ondo, Plateau, Taraba, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Bayelsa, Kaduna and Kebbi State. Fifty participants were recruited in each State and the FCT giving a total of 950 participants.

The success of the SADTS implementation led to the management approval for the scheme to be replicated in the 36 States and FCT. Fifty (50) participants were recruited per State thus having 1,850 participants in all. The scheme involved theoretical two weeks of training and 3 months of experiential adaptive practical training.

RURAL AGRCULTURAL TRAINING SCHEME (RADTS);

The Rural Agricultural Training Scheme (RADTS) is an agribusiness training designed for unemployed school leavers using experiential learning methods of on-farm demonstrations with tutorials on industry best practices in seven skills namely; Crop Production, Livestock management, Micro-livestock management, Food processing, preservation & storage, Agro-services & Farm mechanization.

Participants are also trained on enterprise management, business plan preparation, value enhancing life skills & success attitudes. They are encouraged to form co-operatives in order to benefit from the resettlement package.

The Rural Agricultural Training Scheme (RADTS) is conducted in the Agricultural Skills Training Centres (ASTC) in States where they are functional or in alternative training centre (ATC) in States without ASTC.

The NDE-ASTC has been established in twenty-six (26) States of the Federation namely; Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Taraba, Zamfara and FCT.

 INTEGRATED FARMING TRAINING SCHEME (IFTS);

This involves the impartation of agribusiness skills, Life skills & Success attitudes to unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions that will lead to competence in the proper management of mixed farming enterprises as agri-preneurs. Beneficiaries are empowered with loan packages to set-up mixed farms at the IFTS centre and are supported to succeed with extension, technical, business and financial advisory services and mentorship. States with IFTS centres are; Abia, Borno, Delta, Katsina, Kwara and Oyo.

NDE AGRICULTURAL PARK;

The Agricultural park is an all-inclusive agribusiness cluster that is a hub of commercial activities with a high employment generation potential training, mentorship and business support.

The Agricultural Park provides solutions to barriers to successful entrepreneurship, promotes technology adoption and commercialization of products of Research & Development and generates mass employment.

The Park is designed for graduates and non-graduates. The training at the park is aimed at building the capacity of the unemployed youths with appropriate skills for successful management of technology-driven and innovative small-scale agribusinesses.

The beneficiaries will undergo a month of tutorials in Poultry & fish ration formulation, Export grade smoked fish production, Crop cultivation, Green house technologies and Business training. The established agribusiness will provide the practice and on-farm hands-on demonstrations that will reinforce the tutorials. The institution of a well-articulated mentorship programme, provision of management & consulting services and a robust technical and extension layer support will build requisite competencies and ensure success of the agribusinesses.

Beneficiaries will be given start-up capital to establish their agribusiness at the park. Businesses at the park will be based on viable business models backed by pre-developed business plans on products in high demand with guaranteed markets linked to off-takers.

It is estimated that 120 beneficiaries at the park will generate 3132 jobs. The project has been established at two locations; Akunnu, Akoko North LGA, Ondo state and Sabuwa, Sabuwa LGA, Katsina State. Construction works planned for the first phase infrastructural development started in 2014 and is on-going.

CONCLUSION

The Rural Employment Promotion (REP) department has a team of professional staff who are committed to evolving new and pragmatic strategies for training and empowering the youth for employment generation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation.