Adopt Delta YAGEP Model to Tackle Agricultural Problems, Eboh Tells Stakeholders

Stakeholders in the Agricultural Industry have assembled to identify solutions to various challenges plaguing the sector in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

This was the overarching goal at the 7th Agricultural Policy Stakeholders Forum and 1st Annual International Conference organized by the Agricultural Policy Research Network (APRNet) in Asaba.

Delta Government Gives Cash Awards of 57M to STEP, YAGEP, GEST Beneficiaries to Boost Their Businesses 

No fewer than 183 entrepreneurs who are beneficiaries of the Delta State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP,) Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) and the Girl Child Empowerment Skills Training (GEST) have received cash awards to boost their enterprises.

 

The cash awards presented to them by the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, were in different categories in fulfilment of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s promise to them during the Graduation Ceremony organized for 1,000 2020/2021 STEP and YAGEP graduands held in January this year.

 

While 75 outstanding STEP/YAGEP, including persons with disabilities and 4 GEST beneficiaries received 500,000 each, 62-member Job Creation Prosperity Choir received 10M and 40 Job Creation Smart Cultural Dancers got 7.5M.

 

Addressing the beneficiaries at the Unity Hall, Asaba, Chief Ukah, said the successes recorded by the beneficiaries by the job creation programmes of the State Government through STEP, YAGEP and GEST are testimonies of building a new Delta in fulfillment of Governor Okowa’s vision.

 

“My excitement is emotional by the expression of the beneficiaries because what I see in this hall and what I saw weeks back is what we hoped for to build a new Delta. The logo of the State on your shirts and the Delta Flag and of course our Anthem and you all sitting in this hall are testimonies of what we had in mind when we designed the shirts and the new Delta logo.

“We want to see a future of young men and women who will change the shape of Delta State. Delta has built roads and done a lot of things but one thing that the Governor cherishes so much is the Job and Wealth Creation Bureau. Our job is to build Deltans especially the youths,” he remarked. 

 

While tasking them to invest wisely the money received and to keep making the government proud with the skills acquired, he tasked them to uphold the philosophy of Okowa as an “Ekwueme,” as one who fulfills his promise to their communities. 

 

“Be dedicated to your businesses. Delta is number one in man-power development. What we do here is to teach you how to fish; not to give you fish to eat. Keep proper business record. The future of Delta State is in your hands. Do not abuse this opportunity. Single yourselves out as the best,” he added.

 

Earlier, the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer and the Head of the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau, Prof Eric Eboh, enjoined them to uphold the virtues of integrity and hard work at all times to sustain their businesses.

 

According to him, “today is evidence that hard work, perseverance, diligence, patience, integrity and honesty pay. The job creation bureau has imparted knowledge in you; these are the best gift in life and it will help you in your businesses.” 

 

On his part, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youth Monitoring and Mentoring, Mr. Edward Mekwunye, urged them to make their lives purposeful through hard work in order to make the State Government’s investment on them worthwhile.

 

In the same vein, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Girl Child Empowerment Office, Mrs. Marilyn Daramola, described the award as well deserved especially at a time people are facing hard times, charging the beneficiaries to put it into good use.

 

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Kelvin Atano, thanked the State Government for the kind gesture, pledging to invest the cash award wisely.

 

The highpoint of the ceremony was the symbolic presentation of a cheque of 500,000.00 to one of the beneficiaries by the SSG, Chief Patrick Ukkah.

 

 

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh and Laura Ese Oghene

  

 

 

 

Beneficiaries of the Youth Agricultural and Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) in the 2015/2026 Cycle have commended the Delta State Government for donating a new generator to them to curb the challenge of power supply.


Beneficiaries located at the Delta State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (DARDA), Ibusa made the commendation when they received a 35KVA generator as replacement for a 12KVA one that was no longer functional.

YAGEPreneur Chiweike Nwankwo, in Fish Production, recalled that the State Government through the Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau provided a 12 KVA generator to them in 2015 when they were established to begin their businesses as young entrepreneurs.

He said the old generator served them for six years till it packed up, adding that an appealed was made to the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, on their predicament when they could no longer bear the burden of repairing it.

According to him, “We are super excited. In the words of Prof, ‘The desire of job creation bureau is to ensure continuity of our beneficiaries.’ Though I requested for a 12 KVA generator, he provided for us a 35 KVA one.

“I must say that the Delta State Government has not failed us. The response is always swift. Within a space of a month, we repaired the old generator with eighty thousand naira; but with this new one, our fears are gone.”

He expressed optimism that with the replacement of the ailing generator with a better one, the 2015/2016 Cycle YAGEPreneurs in DARDA were back in business.

On her part, YAGEPreneur Jane Uzonitcha in Poultry Production said the provision of the new generator was a huge relief to them, pointing out that their profit was spent repairing the old generator unlike now when they would need to buy only diesel.  

She also said the State Government has been a good father to them. “We are not abandoned at maturity. This is an indication of its determination to nurture and build a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“Being that it pumps faster, it will increase our efficiency and in the long run increase our profitability. My gratitude cannot be over-emphasized. With this new generator, necessity is laid on us to succeed as without water, nothing can work well in Fish and Poultry Productions,” she enthused.

Meanwhile the Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer, Prof Eric Eboh, explained that the new generator was necessitated by the plan to improve the operational sustainability of poultry and fish farm enterprises at YAGEP Farms Cluster located in the premises of DARDA. 

He said the generator would ease their cost of operations, make them more efficient and productive, adding that the impact would resonate in higher profits and greater ability to expand and grow their enterprises.

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh

 

 

 

 

 

OKOWANOMICS IN ACTION: The Agricultural Sector Testimonial 

Prof. Eric Eboh

Chief Job and Wealth Creation Officer

 

In the last seven years, Delta State, under the excellent leadership of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, has witnessed unprecedented positive social and economic transformations. These unparalleled achievements and impacts have not happened by chance. They are the outcomes of Governor Okowa’s critical thinking, clear foresight, sound planning, effective execution, smart coordination, political astuteness and executive intelligence. 

Considering the landmark nature of transformations across the economic sectors and the instrumental role of Governor Okowa’s personal effectiveness and superlative leadership, the present governance and developmental chapter in Delta State qualifies as the era of “Okowanomics”.

 The concept of Okowanomics denotes Governor Okowa’s development philosophy defined by his unique people-centred ideologies, policies and approaches of political governance, economic management and social mobilization.  In fact, Okowanomics is the philosophical foundation and development strategy for the wide-ranging and deep-seated social and economic impacts in Delta State from 2015 to date. 

 

Evidence of the impacts of Okowanomics abounds across the economic and social sectors as substantiated by development statistics regarding human capital development, poverty reduction, inclusive economic growth and better business environment. In particular, the sectoral footprints of Okowanomics include job creation and youth empowerment, road and transport infrastructure, growth and development of educational institutions, contributory health insurance system, development of tourism and sports. Others are prudent fiscal and economic management, development of the agricultural value chain, conducive investment and business environment, enhancement of micro and small enterprises through microcredit, gender mainstreaming and creation of social safety-net mechanisms. 

 

Today, the agricultural landscape of Delta State is dotted with historic landmarks of Governor Okowa’s developmental philosophy and economic management prowess. Within the framework of the S.M.A.R.T Agenda and the Delta State Medium-Term Development Plan 2016-2020, the agricultural sector has since 2015 been targeted with policies, strategies and programmes aimed at transforming and uplifting the agricultural value chain. The agricultural testimonial of Okowanomics is the economic philosophy of developing the agricultural value chain as the cornerstone of employment generation, wealth creation, economic inclusion and sustainable growth. 

 

In line with the personal effectiveness axiom “begin with the end in mind”, Governor Okowa enunciated and has been consistently implementing transformative agricultural programmes and projects since assuming office in 2015. The programmes include those implemented by Delta State Job and Wealth Creation Bureau (DSJCWB), Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR) and under Public-Private Partnership arrangements. Specifically, since 2015, the Job and Wealth Creation Bureau has been implementing Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP), Delta State Agro-Industrial Park (DSAIP) at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku and Delta State Foods Export Initiative (DSFEI). These agricultural programmes and projects are collectively transforming the agricultural value chain, improving agricultural outputs-cum-productivity and promoting wealth creation. 

 

Moreover, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources have been implementing commodity value chain support programmes and initiatives covering cassava, fishery, oil palm, vegetables, rice, maize and livestock. Through these programmes, farmers, agro-processors and service providers have received targeted support including production inputs and technologies, tractorisation, training and skills upgrading, market linkages, production credit and agricultural extension advisory.

 

With one thousand five hundred and twenty (1,520) youths trained and established or supported as agricultural entrepreneurs from 2015 to 2021, YAGEP has demonstrated that, with the right design and faithful execution, agriculture and agribusiness can attract the youths and tackle youth unemployment. Moreover, YAGEP has positively impacted the agricultural landscape of Delta State through the establishment and sustenance of youth-managed agricultural enterprise clusters, numbering more than twenty (20) across the state. Similarly, PPSP has shown how accurate targeting of smallholder farmers and agro-processors can be achieved through participatory design of support, rigorous vetting of beneficiaries and impeccable delivery of support items. 

 

The Agro-Industrial Park, under construction at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku, will be game-changer and growth pole for the agricultural economy. The envisaged impacts include creating markets and wealth for smallholder farmers, industrializing agriculture, stimulating efficient farm technologies and creating tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs along the agricultural value chain. In the same vein, Delta State Food Exports Initiative has exhibited market-led development of the agricultural sector and its inherent ability to induce profitable investments in the farm subsector. Also, it has shown how to create thousands of jobs through integrated targeted development of cassava farming, transportation, processing, logistics and marketing.

 

Indeed, the agricultural development landmarks under the astute leadership of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, are a major testimonial of Okowanomics in action. The agricultural development footprints of Governor Okowa are indelible signs of the economic impacts that can result from appropriate programme design, proper planning and faithful implementation backed by unwavering political commitment.

 

 

- Five to Ten Years, the Fruits of “Sabificate” Will Show in Nigeria-Okowa


 

By Gertrude Onyekachukwu-Uteh and Laura Ese Oghene

 

1000 beneficiaries of the Delta State Government’s Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) and the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) enrolled in the 2020/2021 Programme Cycle have officially graduated from the programme.

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