Dr Mohammed Abdullahi, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Edo North Senatorial District, on Monday said that youths in the area would cultivate 500 hectares of cassava next year. Abdullahi disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Auchi, the headquarters of Etsako-West Local Government Area of the state. He said that the cassava project would be under the Edo Government/Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. He said that no fewer than 200 youths would be registered under cooperative societies and each of the farmers would cultivate one hectare of land. Abdullahi said the Auchi community had provided land for the project while government would provide funds for land preparation which would commence in Dec. as well as input. The chairman said the state government’s Cluster Farming Scheme, was initiated to empower the youths to become self-reliant. He said that the state government had approved the Ozemhoya Multipurpose Cooperative Society as the off-taker of the produce. “The state government has directed that we register 200 youths for the project and we are appealing to the youths in the senatorial district to key into the project. “This is a forum for them to be empowered; this government is showing very serious interest in agriculture. NAN reports that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is a CBN’s initiative which is aimed at creating economic linkage between small scale farmers (out growers) and reputable large scale processors. It also has the objective of increasing agricultural output and improving capacity utilization of integrated mills.