The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger State.
The partnership is expected to among other things yield training of corps members and staff on modern farming methods.
Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, Director-General of the NYSC, said the partnership came as NYSC was revamping its agricultural programmes in line with Federal Government’s policy on diversification.
Ibrahim said the scheme was tapping the potential of corps members for promotion of agriculture and contributing to the nation’s drive toward self-sufficiency in food production.
He noted that the partnership would improve initiatives of the scheme empowering corps members for self-employment, saying that opportunities were being provided for them to acquire vocational skills.
“NYSC is a proactive agency that encourages corps members on self-reliance instead of salary jobs, ” he said.
The director-general said that corps members were encouraged to avail themselves of various empowerment opportunities.
He said that a proposal was on the way for the establishment of a National Youth Service Trust Fund.
Ibrahim said that if actualised, the fund would, among other things, help in making the skill and entrepreneurship programme of the NYSC more functional while serving as a source of business financing for corps entrepreneurs.
Dr Aliyu Umar, Executive Director of NCRI, said the institute’s mandate included conduct of research into genetic improvement and improved production system.
He also mentioned improved processing methods of mandate crop products as well as design and fabrication of agricultural implements and equipment.
He said that the institute had trained many women and youths on improved agricultural practices, including the production of high yielding, weed and pest resistant crops.
“We are ready to partner with NYSC and l assure you that we will not let you down.
“This MoU will enhance the efficient usage of limited human and material resources that will improve productivity.