SMEDAN Empowers 16 Cooperatives In Ondo


Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained and empowered no fewer than 160 people from 16 cooperative organisations on agribusiness in Ondo State. 

Mr Shode Olukayode, South-West Zonal Coordinator of SMEDAN, made this known while speaking with Journalists at the end of the six-day entrepreneurship training for members of some cooperative organisations on Sunday in Akure. 

Olukayode, who said that the programme was a yearly initiative of the Federal Government, added that Ondo and Ogun were chosen from South West to benefit this year. 

He said the Agric-business Development and Empowerment programme(ADEP) was deliberately established in SMEDAN head office called agribusiness and extension services to focus primarily on the development of the agric sector. 

“So, this initiative was established to complement the effort of the state government and to assist cooperatives that are into agro-elite production in the country. 


“We are in Ondo State to train and empower some cooperative organisations. We have 16 cooperatives and each cooperative is represented by 10 members, so, in all, we have 160 participants. 

“They will go away with a package a grant close to N300, 000 to enhance their businesses and also logistics to support them. 

“There is what we call post-training, we are going to do a follow-up on all the beneficiaries on how the money is being utilised, so that other thing can be added to them,” he said. 

The SMEDAN zonal coordinator, who said that all the participants were drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state, added that the state was the next to benefit from the programme. 

He, therefore, charged the participants to take the programme seriously,  noting that it was not easy to shortlist any of them. 

Also speaking, Mrs Oluyomi Faniyan, Assistant Director of SMEDAN, Abuja, said that the initiative was to encourage youths and young farmers to go back to farming and to increase the country’s export. 

Faniyan, who called on the beneficiaries to see the programme as an opportunity, said they should practice all that they learned in their daily businesses. 

“FG and state governments are working restlessly to encourage people to go back to farming because this is what had been sustaining Nigeria before the emergence of oil. 

“Now that oil has failed us, we must go back to the farm so that we can increase our export. Lack of exportation is what is affecting Nigeria naira today,” she said. 

Muhammed Enas, Chairman of Sunshine Cooperative Society in Akure South Local Government, appreciated the Federal Government’s initiative, saying that the gesture would go a long way to assist farmers in the state. 

Enas, who said he was into pig farming, urged Federal Government not to relent on the programme so that poverty could be a thing of the past and youths could take farming as a job instead of looking for white-collar jobs. 

“To me, I don’t even believe that FG has such a package to relieve or to reduce poverty within farmers. 

“What I think is that it is not possible to be a successful farmer through this training in the last six days, but I was wrong. I can say that there is hope for the country, hope for the younger generations. 

“Let me tell the good people of this country, especially our youths, education is just to go and add knowledge. There is a lot of gains and prospects in farming. 

Also, Mrs Olaoluwakintan Kareem, Leader of Women Society Cooperative Group from Akoko North East Local Government, said that the training and empowerment would allow her to give back to the country. 

“Concerning this agribusiness, we don’t need to believe in white-collar jobs because we have learnt how we can manage our business, how we can go into business of farming. 

“We need to do more as a woman, youths and sisters, we don’t need to wait for any man before we can contribute to the society. 

“We want Federal Government to do more of this to encourage youths and to encourage our society because a lot of people are suffering. We want more of this.”