‘Before us today is a great future, a future that must be fed, and a future population of over 200 million people to be fed daily in the next 10 years. We need to plan now to feed our tomorrow and future’.
Attracting and retaining nigerian youths in agriculture
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING NIGERIAN YOUTHS IN AGRICULTUREBy ‘Before us today is a great future, a future that must be fed, and a futuresotonye anga, population of over 200 million people toAgribusiness expert be fed daily in the next 10 years. Weand strategist need to plan now to feed our tomorrow and future’.
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING NIGERIANYOUTHS IN AGRICULTURE BY SOTONYEANGAWe cannot talk about attracting Nigerian youths in to Agriculturewithout first commending and appreciating our trailblazers and touchbearers, our old or aged farmers, without them we will not have anyAgriculture in Nigeria, they have with them knowledge, experience andexpertise about weather, seed, character of crops, forest reserve, andsoil. Their understanding of our farmlands and forest reserve is deepand rich. This body of wisdom and knowledge is valuable andimportant. So in going forward, we must celebrate our old farmers andreally make them happy so they can be stimulated and get into theright frame of mind to pass on their knowledge. Our old farmers arecustodian of knowledge; they are great, wonderful and powerful. Icelebrate them, they have weathered the storm, conquered our landand made it to produce enough to feed and sustain the nation. Withtheir bare hands, hoe, and cutlass they have created paths through ourforest placing a demand on our soil to yield her increase. Irrespective ofhow crude their methods may be, they have made great impact.Therefore, it is right for us to continue to celebrate them for theiringenuity, industry and courage.Be that as it may, life is in phases, I believe at this point of our nation’shistory, there is need for more youths to get involved in Agriculture.Most of our farmers are old, and yet we have a large population of over160 million people to be fed daily. Again, this justifies the need forNigeria to deliberately change and diversify the labour composition ofour farmers by integrating more of our youthful population into realtime, viable and prosperous Agribusiness.Before us today is a great future, a future that must be fed, a futurepopulation of over 200 million people to be fed daily in the next 10years. We need to plan now to feed our tomorrow and future. If
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING NIGERIANYOUTHS IN AGRICULTURE BY SOTONYEANGAanything, this is the time for our federal Government to really takeAgribusiness seriously by creating and providing the enablingenvironment for the private sector to drive Nigeria’s Agriculturalrevolution armed with the right Agric friendly policy, tools andinfrastructure with our youths as chief drivers of the process.Agribusiness is about wealth creation, it is about job creation, andNigeria is blessed with great Agricultural resource and assets that mustbe exploited and converted into wealth and prosperity for our people.We need to understand that Agribusiness holds and carries with it thesolution for youth unemployment.For Agriculture to work, we need to get our seed, inputs, farmmachineries, transportation, funding, storage and marketing right. Thisis the time for the Nigerian youths to take over in the Agribusinesslandscape. We need therefore, to prepare them by giving themAgribusiness responsibilities that will challenge their ability. When wedo this, we will see the glory of Nigeria’s Agriculture.Nigerian youths today shy away from farming and Agriculture becausethey cannot see the dignity, prosperity, beauty, glory and profits inAgriculture.The picture youths have about Agriculture is that of poverty, suffering,pain, hardship and intensive labour without gains. So the first taskGovernment have is to get our youths see Agriculture differently. Bydeliberately giving Agriculture the attention and funding it deserves.The Honourable Minister, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina CON, has done quite alot by pointing youths to the prospect and potentials that exist in ourAgricultural sector but more work is required to support his advocacy,as the decay in the nation’s Agriculture is very deep. PresidentGoodluck Jonathan is also determined to diversify the nation’s
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING NIGERIANYOUTHS IN AGRICULTURE BY SOTONYEANGAeconomy using Agriculture. I believe him and he needs to make ithappen now.Let us make Agriculture pay in Nigeria.Government needs to make Agriculture attractive for our today’s youngmen and women by providing them with access to improved highyielding, disease resistant seedlings, access to finance at single digitinterest rates, access to high performing and efficient tools and farmmachineries and other supportive infrastructure.Nigeria’s youth can feed Nigeria’s future, so let us get our youths todayto take their place in the nation’s Agriculture.Youths in Agriculture is the right way forward. Let us create theattraction and you will find them rushing in to Agribusiness.Thank you.Sotonye AngaCoordinator, Agribusiness and youth empowermentCOMMUNITY OF AGRICULTURAL STAKEHOLDERS OF NIGERIA2/12/2012