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Ecobank, IITA supports 16,000 youths in agriculture

Ecobank Nigeria Limited has stated that it has entered into a partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture to train and provide support services to 16,000 Nigerian youths on wealth creation through agriculture.

The bank said in a statement that the training was targeted at young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 and would cover key areas of specialisation including poultry, aquaculture, horticulture, and value addition.

Announcing the partnership, the bank’s Head of Public Sector and Agric Business, Ms Ayo Osolake, said the training was designed for both digital and physical audiences and structured into phases.

According to her, the first phase will last four weeks and will be strictly online while the second phase will be hybrid, entailing practical sessions and farm visits.

She noted, “Ecobank as a Pan-African institution, it is important for us to continue to sow the seeds of growth in the communities where we operate, especially among young people who are the future of our nation and in real economy-impacting sectors like agriculture. This is at the heart of our partnership with IITA, where we are combining the full scale of our expertise to empower and equip young Nigerians with the prerequisite knowledge for success in agriculture.

“Our commitment to helping young people create wealth is unwavering, and we are keen on working with similar-minded stakeholders in other sectors to help nurture the dreams of our youths.”

Osolake explained that the programme was designed with a view to expanding the frontiers of agricultural opportunities for Nigerians, especially in terms of research, development and wealth creation.

Now is a great time for anyone considering a future in agriculture to be a part of this training. The structure and areas of specialisation have been carefully chosen to boost the capabilities of all attendees.

“The training will also cover both theoretical and practical aspects of everything they need to learn.  It is a pleasure to work with a foremost institution like the IITA for this, seeing that we share similar values,” she stated.

She noted that the training would offer an opportunity to learn new technologies along the focus value chain, build business skills and competencies in agribusiness management, mentoring, and coaching opportunities, linkages to finance, exposure to business plan development, and loan application.

She added that there would also be post-training support to improve start-up identity and market linkages.

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