BY ADESOLA ADEOSUN
Pan-African Banking firm, Ecobank has announced a new partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture following plans to empower Nigerian youths on agriculture.
Following concerns to curtail unemployment and poor living standards in the country, the bank revealed that it is seeking to train and facilitate 16,000 youths in Nigeria on the basics of creating wealth through agriculture.
Hence, it has collaborated with the IITA in a bid to leverage its helping hands.
According to the bank, the agricultural training programme is designed to be presented in digital and physical formats and will be structured into phases, with a focus on key areas of specialization such as poultry, aquaculture, horticulture, and value addition.
It noted that its core targets are youths whose ages range between 18 and 40 years.
Ecobank’s Head of Public Sector and Agric Business, Ms Ayo Osolake made further elaborations on each phase of the training programme, noting that the initial stage of the programme will run for a duration of four weeks and will be conducted exclusively online.
Furthermore, the subsequent phase, which will be a hybrid model, will include practical sessions and farm visits.
Ms Ago Osolake expressed the company’s delight in incorporating with the IITA on this mission saying, “…It is a pleasure to work with a foremost institution like the IITA for this, seeing that we share similar values.”
Per the announcement, the bank emphasized that the training programme presents a unique opportunity for participants to acquire knowledge on new technologies along the value chain, develop their business skills and competencies in agribusiness management, and benefit from mentoring and coaching opportunities.
Ecobank believes that the programme has full potential to help attendees gain linkages to finance, exposure to business plan development, and guidance on loan applications.