Internship Report With Niger State Value Chain Development Programme
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Nigeria is one of the largest producers and consumers of rice in Africa, but there is a high rate of qualitative and quantitative loss as a result of poor handling and poor processing techniques. Adoption of appropriate innovative processing techniques is known to impact positively on agricultural development. Hence, the need to improve on the pre and post- harvest processing of rice through the adoption of innovative rice processing techniques in order to improve its value, thereby creating employment opportunities, improving rice quality and expanding the market for rice production. Similarly, the improvement of livelihood and gender equity requires the understanding of prevailing gender roles and adequate access to different livelihood opportunities as this makes technological interventions successful. Though youth have desirable qualities that can promote agriculture, most of them have strong apathy towards it. This has resulted in mass unemployment and lack of sustainable livelihood. Women and youth integration in agricultural activities is important for the sustainable development of agricultural sector. This is because they have the potential to overcome some major constraints in agricultural development as they are more opened to new ideas and practices. Therefore, the study assessed the involvement of rural youth and women in rice value chains as a means of livelihood, and its implication on the prospects of future agriculture and rural development. Preliminary results are indicative of the potentials of empowerment and sustainable development in the rice sector economy in Niger State, Nigeria.