The Nigerian Directorate of Employment (NDE) has urged agrarian communities in the country to take advantage of its “Smart Farmer’’ scheme to improve their yields per hectare.
The Acting Director-General of NDE, Dr Kunle Obayan, made the call on Friday during the NDE Special Day at the 2007 Enugu International Trade Fair.
He said that NDE was ready to deploy its trained agricultural extension workers to agrarian communities to educate farmers about better and modern ways of farming.
“We not only want Nigerian farmers to work hard but they should farm smart with the `Smart Farmer’ scheme.
“So, our agricultural extension workers will teach farmers how to increase their yields in addition to how to get the best and competitive markets, within and outside the country, for their produce,’’ he said.
Besides, Obayan urged communities across the country to take due advantage of the “School-on-Wheels’’ programme of the NDE, in efforts to empower the youth with the acquisition of viable skills.
“NDE is also checking idleness and restiveness in most communities through community-based skills acquisition programmes through its `School-on-Wheels’ scheme.
“The `School-on-Wheels’ scheme has enabled us to access remote and hitherto unreached communities with modern skills so as to create employment and wealth in these communities,’’ he said.
Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, the President, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), thanked the NDE for participating in the trade fair.
“I have no doubt that this NDE exhibition will provide another veritable opportunity for the directorate to deepen its interface with the unemployed and members of the public, which will stimulate economic growth in the country.
“There is also no doubt that the NDE will continue to champion efforts to develop our people, particularly towards the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),’’ Chime said.
The Enugu International Trade Fair, which is being supported by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, is organised to provide a platform for showcasing Nigeria’s non-oil commodities with export potential.
The exhibition also provides an opportunity for local and foreign businesses to explore and access the commercially viable markets in the South-East geopolitical zone.
The theme of the 28th edition of the fair, which will end on April 10, is: “Promoting Nigeria’s Industrial Sector and SMEs for Inclusive and Robust Economy”. (NAN)