NAA presents cash prizes to winners of the Youth Project and Essay Competition 2017

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The Central Committee of the Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA), today, awarded cash prizes to winners of the Youth Project and Essay Completion at De-Renaissance Hotel, Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos.

Organised by AgroNigeria in May this year, the objective of the initiative was to crystallise the interest of young Nigerians towards agriculture for the overall development of the Nation.

Delivering the opening remarks, the CEO, AgroNigeria, Richard-Mark Mbaram, said “the youths are the missing link to the value chain in the agricultural sector in Nigeria.” He added that “We have people doing great in the agric sector and we came up with a way of rewarding them through the Nigeria Agriculture Awards. This youth component is aimed at Building a Crop of Young Agroprenuers.”

Representing the Central Committee of the NAA, Prof. Caroline Afolami, emphasised on the vast opportunities youths can key into, to create wealth for themselves. “A lot of opportunities await youths in the agric sector. Certificate alone cannot create wealth, you have to look at entrepreneurial avenues, and agriculture provides that; but passion is required to succeed.”

The sponsor of the event, Triton Group, who was represented by the Chief Risk Officer and Global Operations, Anil Sodani, adequately captured the role of youths towards the development of the Nigerian Agricultural space.

“Nigeria needs to invest in the youths because a hungry nation is a riotous nation; the man who feeds a nation is a soldier who can give calmness to the ‘riot’ in a country,” he said.

The Senior Project Manager, Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN) Nigeria, Dr. Augustine Okoruwa, in his remarks, highlighted the role of youths in the fight against reducing post-harvest losses in the country which is important to productivity.

The winners of the NAA Youth Essay and Project Competition are as follows:

Team Smart Farms, Mamud Abdulrasaq, Balogun Idris Abayomi, and Yusuf Yusuf Falawiyo, emerged as the N1 million winner of the Youth Project Competition:

Team Digital, Ogunbiyi Yusuf Gbenga, Salawu Saheed, and Abiodun Ogundijo, emerged as the first runner with N500, 000, and;

Team Unilag, Adoh Tobechukwu, Moses Adeyemo Seun, and Bamidele Wilson, emerged as the second runner up with N250,000.

Team Smart Farms, in an interview, appreciated the NAA and AgroNigeria for the cash awards, adding that if private organisations and the government can motivate youths with such competition, transforming the Nigerian economy from its state of discouragement will become an easy feat.

Also, appreciating the organisers, Team Digital said there’s a great future for agriculture in Nigeria, and prayed that the efforts that organisations and private individuals have channelled to this sector will be fruitful.

While thanking the organisers, Team Unilag urged the youths to seek information on agriculture, because there are numerous benefits in the sector, as any youth could play the role of an investor or go into agriculture as a farmer.

The winner of the NAA Youth Essay Competition who went home with N250,000, Ndebilite Amarachi, an SSS 3 student, expressed delight after being notified of her success in the competition by the organisers. She added that more youth could be pulled to this sector with more awareness and incentives.

The first runner-up of the NAA Youth Essay Competition who went away with N150,000, Marvellous Adelaja, an SSS 1 student of Jextoban Secondary School, said “My mom encouraged me to go for this competition, as she told me that the money from her catfish business was used to pay my JSS 1 school fees. Moreover, after I was notified as the second winner of this competition, I made up my mind to be an agricultural blogger.”

In its first series, the NAA Youth Essay and Project Competition positively attracted a sizable number of youths from different parts of the country, and the winners who received their cash prizes today, were deemed deserving by the Central Committee, based on their performance.

Notable dignitaries at the event are the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Lagos State, Otunba Femi Oke, the Deputy National President, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Chief Yomi Otubela, ably represented by the P.R.O NAPPS, Hon. Owolabi Josuha, the Proprietress, Hopeful High School, Mrs Isiaka, the Managing Director, Amolese Aquaculture Nig. Ltd, Nurudeen Tiamiyu.


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