The Federal Government has inaugurated the Graduate Youth Empowerment Scheme (GYES) in Doma, Nasarawa State. The GYES, an agro-centric training scheme, is detailed to exist under the aegis of the Ministry of Water Resources and is aimed at training young graduates in relevant agricultural entrepreneurial skills.

The Executive Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said the GFES was a pilot initiative aimed at resuscitating the river basins. He made this known while inaugurating the scheme on Wednesday at the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority project site in Doma, Nasarawa State,

Mr Adamu noted that the scheme, already being inaugurated in seven out of the 12 River Basin Development Authorities in the country, has its central objective primed at boosting agricultural production through all year round farming.

According to the Minister, graduates would be trained in various agricultural activities including aquaculture, horticulture, vegetable and cereal cultivation, animal husbandry, food processing, packaging and marketing and extension services.

Speaking on the details of the training, Mr Adamu stated that it would be carried out in batches of 50 each, and would soon be extended to all the senatorial zones of the country. Overtime, the training would seek to empower the youth, guarantee food security, create wealth and diversify the economy.

Explaining further, the Minister noted that other government intervention programmes are in line to assist beneficiaries of the scheme with input and necessary logistics to establish their own agricultural ventures.

“This will go a long way to create a multiplier effect to further sustain the objectives of the programme, with the attendant positive impact on the economy through improved food production and employment generation”, he said.

While he enjoined the beneficiaries to utilise the inherent potential in the programme for their socio-economic advancement, he also urged the hosting state government to provide maximum support to the scheme through active participation in operation, maintenance and management.

Also speaking at the launch of the scheme, Managing Director, Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, Mr Ovey Angbazo, claimed the Nasarawa State Ministry of Agriculture would forge a partnership with agricultural institutes in the state to give the scheme the necessary support it needs to thrive.

Mr Angbazo said each participant of the GFES would be given one hectre of land and inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals for the duration of their training, while challenging them to be productive.