No fewer than 100 youths will benefit from the Anambra Agropreneur Talent Hunt in Agriculture and Science Technology programme of the state government.
The Special Adviser to Gov. Willie Obiano on Youth Mobilisation and Empowerment, Dr Onyeka Ibezim, said this at the finals of the one-month talent hunt in Awka on Monday.
Ibezim said the programme was meant to empower youths who have interest and innovative prowess in agriculture as well as science and technology.
He said finalists would be given soft loans ranging from N500, 000 for individuals to N5 million for cooperatives to set up artisan businesses and small scale farms.
The governor’s aide, whose office is coordinating the programme, said the financing of the young entrepreneurs would be provided by the Anambra State Small Business Agency.
“We have been focused on the plans to empower the youth and our youths have been factored into the various pillars of this administration.
“This time, we are focusing on exceptional talents in the Agriculture and Science/Technology Sectors.
“ These are youths who did well in the various local government areas and have qualified for the finals.
“They will be supported in the aspects of farming they excelled in like fisheries, poultry, vegetable farming and even root crop farming.
“The loan that we shall give to these young talented farmers and artisans is the softest you can think of in this country and it will be fully guaranteed by the Anambra State Government,” he said.
Ibezim said the talent hunt was open to all youths irrespective of educational qualification, adding that the next phase would target those with prospects in entertainment and sports.
Also speaking, a fisheries expert and member of the panel of judges, Mr Emeka Iloghalu, said he was impressed with the attitude of the participants to farming.
Iloghalu said youths could make wealth from venturing into modern agriculture.
The talent hunt was organised in collaboration with the state Ministries of Agriculture, Science and Technology as well as Culture and Tourism.