Lagos State Government has commenced the training of another set of 200 agripreneurs under her Lagos Agripreneurship Programme, LAP, and the Graduate Internship Placement Programme,GIPP.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya who declared open the training today at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe, noted that this time around the training was a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment as participants had been drawn from the already existing pool of the GIPP.
Ms Olusanya stated that in order to drive food security, there was a need to place that vision in the hands of the right people who already have a theoretical knowledge in agriculture and related fields.
“It is one thing to empower people and train them in agriculture, but we need to understand that to drive food security and to place it in the hands of the right people, it has to be those who already have a theoretical knowledge around it.
“With that, when the right resources are deployed around practicality, maximum impact would be seen. With the GIPP, we will be taking from the pool those who have been trained in the university, polytechnics and colleges in the agriculture space because they already have a background knowledge; that way, they are miles ahead of those who don’t have any knowledge of agriculture,“ the Commissioner asserted.
Ms Olusanya noted that some of the benefits that accrue to the GIPP would also transcend and dovetail to the LAP beneficiaries pointing out that instead of the three-month internship for LAP, the two batches would be synchronized into a six-month internship for everyone.
She added that going forward, after all the sets of LAP beneficiaries have been trained, the Ministry would no longer conduct the recruitment and selection exercise as the GIPP Platform would henceforth be used to bring people into the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme such that the Ministry would simply go ahead to absorb and train the agripreneurs, ensure that the internship programme is done, and move participants to the State’s Food Production Centre in Avia, Badagry for incubation.
“You also need to understand that it’s not everybody here that is going to be empowered. It cannot be everyone that came through the System that will get empowered. It all depends on your performance. A lot of people have gone through LAP from LAP I to LAP VII which runs to thousands of people but only 300 were empowered. From the 300, we had to take from Agri-YES Courses 4, 5 and 6 just to draw from the Programme to ensure that they also get some benefits. So, if you put your heart, body and soul into this Programme, you will reap the benefits.
“We don’t intend for this Training to be like those of times past. We want to see every agripreneur that is serious about this Training come out as a full fledged businessman or woman in the agricultural space. I saw an article today that states that Nigeria has exported the most agricultural produce in its history in recent times, in this past month. It shows that people are pushing aggressively. You may not be hearing their stories but silently, people are doing big things in agriculture.
“Money in agriculture is everlasting but then you need to put the work into it. We in the Ministry vow to support and help you, to give you the ecosystem to help you but you have to do your part,“ she encouraged them.