Engineer Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, has launched the STEP Program Agribusiness Facility at Fasola Grammar School, Oyo West Local Government Area on Thursday, 23, 2020.
The ‘Start Them Early Program’, STEP initiative, was established by IITA to advance Agribusiness Development to Secondary Schools in Africa.
Present at the occasion included the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff, Head of Service, Chairman Advisory Council Committee, Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Honourable Commissioner for Education, the Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agribusiness and other political functionaries, the Coordinator for Technology For Africa, Agricultural Transformation, and the Coordinator for the STEP initiative and caretaker chairmen for local government areas and development areas.
The Governor remarked that he was pleased to be at the launch of the STEP initiative which is a product of a type of innovative thinking that ensures that young people learn agriculture in theory and practice right from secondary school.
Makinde noted the decline in agricultural learning and farmers clubs in secondary schools and stated that STEP served as a wake-up call for all and to bring back such initiatives.
The Governor disclosed that the program will expose young minds to the careers in agriculture that they never knew existed and the needed directions to pursue them. He stated that the students will not only learn agriculture in theory but will see the practical behind their classrooms.
Makinde revealed that positive peer pressure in the form of social clubs will be used to reinforce classroom training and will get practical entrepreneurial training on the business of agriculture. He emphasised that the STEP initiative would correct notions that young ones have about agriculture in Nigeria and stem rural-urban migration.
The Governor stated that the project aligned with the plans of the state to leverage on agriculture to grow the economy of the state and that his administration remained steadfast in its resolve to grow the economy through agriculture.
He used the opportunity to call on all those who were interested in agriculture as a business as he stated that his administration remained committed to ideas that will change the perception towards agriculture.
He thanked the IITA under the leadership of the Director-General for the overall development of agriculture in the state.