Leventis Foundation Nigeria, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), said it had offered free training to 5, 000 Nigerians in its 30 years of existence in the country.
The Principal of the foundation Agric Training School, Mr Adebayo Awotodunbo, said Tuesday during the school’s 30th anniversary held at its Kaduna State centre.
According to him, the foundation has identified agriculture as the most important sector of the Nigerian economy in terms of sustainable employment, provision of raw materials for industries and food provision for the citizenry.
He said that its focus on free agric education was to develop Nigeria through mainstreaming youths into eco-friendly agriculture.
NAN reports that the school offers one year and short-term free training to students, during which the trainees are fed free and given monthly allowance of N3,000 each.
NAN also reports that, the school which has trained over 5,000 since inception, currently has 102 trainees set to graduate in December.
Awotodunbo said, “for any nation to experience meaningful and desirable development, the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, the youths and women must be sustainably mainstreamed into eco-friendly agriculture.”
According to him, it was based on this that the Late Anastasios George Leventis, a reputable philanthropist, initiated the establishment of Leventis Foundation Nigeria 30 years ago to bridge the gap of youth unemployment, vicious poverty cycle, political thuggery and hooliganism.
“That the Foundation has been able to sustainably enhance livelihood among these marginalized groups and restore hope of good living in them, is worthy of celebration.
“In Kaduna state, more than 5000 youths (both regular trained farmers and short training courses participants) whose agricultural capacities had been viably developed are now economically and productively useful, not only to
themselves but also to the nation,” he said.
Representative of Kaduna State Government at the event, Director of Planning and Evaluation at the Kaduna Agricultural Development Agency, Mr. Danjuma Tyuka commended the foundation for the meritorious service to the state and the nation.
He urged the current and past trainees of the school to take advantage of the state government’s friendly ease of doing business policy to establish agric businesses.
According to him, only 2.935 million hectares out of the state’s 4.5 million land mass is presently under cultivation.
NAN reports that highlight of the occasion was the exhibition of finished products and farm produce of both current and past students of the school.