I am Tolulope Ayeyemi, a 25-year-old graduate of Soil Science and Land Resources Management from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria. I have always been interested in agricultural research and development, with a primary focus on increasing food productivity and ensuring a sustainable environment.
In recent years, I have been dedicated to training rural farmers on improved agronomic practices to increase their production and ultimately increase their level of income and standard of living.
Agriculture remains a key sector in the development of any nation, and youth are a major driver to ensure a food secure and sustainable world. Over the last few years, the government of Nigeria has focused on agricultural development to boost its economy through a number of its programs, including Growth Enhancement Support (GES).
However, much is said and little is done, particularly for smallholder farmers and youth aiming to join the venture.
Studying Soil science and Land Resources Management at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, gave me hands-on practical experience. Over the years, and with training visits to Songhai farms in Porto-novo, I became equipped with knowledge. This knowledge has motivated me to train youth in my country on modern methods of agriculture.
In view of the current trends of youth empowerment in agriculture, my project is aiming to train 50 village youth on modern agriculture and encourage them to take up agriculture as a business. They are also encouraged to transfer the knowledge they gain to other young people in their communities.
The project will target youth in rural areas who have access to farmland, especially land that is underutilized as a result of primitive farming practices.
Steps to Implement the Project
Sub-urban settlements have been identified with the Federal Capital Territory that rely heavily on farming as their major source of livelihood. Within 10 of these settlements, five young people between the ages of 18 and 30 will be selected through a joint selection process between the implementing team and the village head. The village head must understand the core value of the training for the youth and the livelihood aspect of the community, as well as the country.
The method of implementation will be classroom training, field training in the form of plenary sessions, group-based exercises, interactive learning, exhibitions, seminars/presentations and practical hands-on experience in modern methods of cultivating maize, rice and sorghum.
Special emphasis will be placed on the UDP technology (i.e. microfertilization using urea super granules placed 7-10 cm deep in rice fields to reduce N use by 35% while increasing yields by 10-20%), benniseed cultivation, safe handling and use of agrochemicals and poultry and fish farming.
The lasting sustainability and feasibility of the project lies in the fact that the young people will be equipped with the needed startup capital and quality agro-inputs (seeds and fertilizers) after the selection process. They will also be facilitated with knowledge on modern agricultural practices and entrepreneurial skills for self-dependency and knowledge transfer to younger generations.
The project will have a lasting impact on the youth and the economy of the nation and will also generate income for the implementing team through its buy-back activities. We intend to buy the produce from the strengthened youth at a very fair price and sell to a target market. This network will grow the project and enhance the incorporation of monitoring and evaluation for the project.
The training phase of the project will last a duration of 2 months and the first phase of the project will last for 1 year before the commencement of the second phase.
The $5000 will be allocated as follows:
A sum of $2500 will be use as startup capital for purchase of quality agro-inputs for the 20 best trainees;
A sum of $1500 will be used for the cost of the training venue, training manuals, logistics and transportation expenses;
A sum of $500 will be used for audio visuals;
The remaining $500 will be for purchasing training materials and will be split for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Tolulope Ayeyemi (Osun, Nigeria) – tolulopeayeyemi[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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