State of Virginia, United States of America, USA, has agreed to partner with Benue state to offer apprenticeship for Women and youths from Benue state in agribusiness.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr. Nathaniel Ikyur, in a press statement said the understanding was reached during an interactive session at the investment forum organized by the International Commission on Nigeria which took place at the Sofitel Lafayette in Washington DC.

Governor, Samuel Ortom, had during the session, proposed that Virginia state which shares a lot in common with Benue should invest in the Nigerian state for mutual benefits.

The Benue State team, which comprised of the Director General, Benue State Planning Commission, Dr Sam Unom and other government officials, was led by Governor Ortom while the State of Virginia team was led by its commissioner for agriculture, Dr Joseph Guthrie with discussion focused on promoting agriculture, training and trade between the two states.

Governor Ortom emphasized that since the state of Virginia was also the food basket of America, the two states should explore the similarities to boost agribusiness saying he was sure Benue stands to benefit from the advanced technology and skills of Virginia.

Responding, Virginia’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Guthrie agreed that the collaboration between Benue and his state was feasible because of their shared interests.

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He emphasized that helping the youth and women to cultivate interest in agriculture as a business will address both poverty and food security that have become global

The Commissioner said youth and women involvement in agriculture through training, extension and research will shift global attention to Africa as the continent is the most resourceful in the world.

According to Dr Guthrie, “with enhanced agriculture in Benue, the state can produce what Virginia and even other parts of the world can buy.”

He therefore proposed three approaches to address Benue’s search for expansive agriculture which includes education, extension and research, insisting that Abraham Lincoln who was also from the state of Virginia introduced the three-pronged approach that has given the state its lead in agriculture.

According to the statement, both Benue and Virginia state teams agreed to commence action immediately.