Ede - Some 200 unemployed graduates and 400 other youths, who indicated interest to become farmers are being trained in modern agricultural practice at the Oodua Farmers Academy in Aisun-Ede in Osun.
Disclosing this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Aisun-Ede, the Head of the academy, Mr Bamidele Olofin, said that majority of the trainees were sponsored by the state government .
He said that the training was part of government’s effort to reduce unemployment in the state.
"The centre provides training in bee keeping, poultry, piggery, rabbitry, aquaculture, snail farming and general farm practice," he said.
Olofin said that 100 youths, who had earlier participated in the training, were given post-training support through acquiring land for them to practice what they learnt.
"We assisted the youth to acquire land either from the state government, local government, or from land owned by Oodua Investment.
"The centre is providing a valid training alternative to the archaic methods of agricultural practice by our forefathers.
"The average farmers in Nigerian are old people, who very soon would not be able to farm; which may bring farming activities to an end if they are not replaced.
"We observed that the youths of today are not interested in agriculture so they need to be encouraged, sensitised and geared to take the mantle of the profession from the aged fathers.
"We train the youths on modern methods of farming that will allow them to practice farming without much stress, live and make money like other professionals.
Olofin added that the centre was not a certificate awarding institution, but provides one-year training for people, especially youths to go to the field and make food available for the nation.
He called on unemployed youths to visit the academy for training, saying that farming was a profitable profession.