By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs said it has sponsored to Israel 100 youths drawn from the nine states in the Niger Delta region to a month-long training programme in various aspects of Agriculture.
In a statement issued by the Director of Information of the Ministry, Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta, said the 100 youths comprising men and women, are being trained in a Kibbuzt (an agricultural cooperative farm), in an agricultural belt outside Tel Aviv.
The statement said the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Dickson Ishaku, who is just back from visiting the youths to assess their performance, said he was satisfied with the facilities and content of the training programme.
It said the Minister, who was conducted around the huge farm settlement, was informed that most of the youths chose to specialize in Aquaculture and Fish farming, a tradition common in the Niger Delta area where fishing has been a way of life for centuries.
Other areas of agricultural specialization popular with the trainees include horticulture, dairy farming, poultry, oil seed processing, grape farming and winery.
Addressing the youths during the visit, Darius Ishaku praised them for their dedication to learning and assured them that they would be assisted to set up agricultural enterprises in their areas of specialization.
The Minister stated that the training programme was part of the mandates of his Ministry, even as he reminded them that each of them was expected to train at least 20 other youths in the various fields they studied in Israel.
“By the time each of you trained 20 of your peers back home, we will have 2,000 skilled farmers in various fields. That would generate jobs and wealth for the youths and contribute in our national food security,” he said.
The Minister told them that President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to improving the lives of the people of the Niger Delta area by fully supporting the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to implement programmes designed to empower them with skills in various fields.