Cool to farm ,akure report


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Cool to farm ,akure report

  2. 2. INTRODUCTIONAs part of the effort to reach more young people with the message of the need to get moreinvolved in agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria and the desire to do more beyond ouractivities on both the traditional and Social Media we partnered with the OAC-Agro AdvocacyInitiative to showcase to young people the opportunities open to them through agriculture andalso create an enabling environment by opening up mentorships and partnership with relevantstakeholders and senior practitioners in agriculture.WORKSHOP Cross Section of Youth who attended the WorkshopThe Workshop series tagged “It’s COOL TO FARM” kicked off with it first edition in the city of Akure with 39 youths from all works of life. This capacity building event did prove rewarding for the participant, facilitators and organizers.Recognizing the challenges before us as youth and a nation were important and thus OlusolaAmusan a young growth consultant started off by sharing with the audience the challengesbefore them and why it was important now than ever that the young generation begins to key intothe agricultural sector. Population growth, unemployment, constant need for food, food wastageand financial freedom were enough reasons for youth to get actively and passionately involved inagriculture.Olawale Ojo , a young professional in agricultural research for development took the participanton a journey of understanding the agricultural value chain and helping the youth to realize thatfarming can indeed be cool. He also helped the young people present to see the various areasthey can fit in starting from production down to delivery of finished products to the consumer.The Panel Session was blessed with senior professionals and stakeholders who have both skillsand experience. Idowu Oludare from the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria, Ondo StateBranch explained to the youth that they were really needed to create change and dynamics in the
  3. 3. farmer’s organization. He admitted to the fact that the farmers were old and needed the youngergenerations to assist and possibly take over their farms. He also went ahead to enumerate thevarious opportunities present through product and services that the young ones can provide forthe older farmers and more importantly how they can become part of the farmer organization.Isaac Oluwatade, the Nigeria Representative of the World Cocoa Foundation and the ProductionTraining Coordinator of the Cocoa Livelyhood Program (CLP) Nigeria which is a partnershipbetween the World Cocoa Foundation and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture(IITA) was available to shed light n the various opportunities for the youth in Cocoa Productionin the country. Among the many areas mentioned are input supply, on-farm production, postharvest handling , trading agents, export traders etc. the youth were amazed at the opportunitiesopened to them and this was reflected in the questions they asked as they quested for moreinformation about the sector. The Cool to Farm Team with Mr Isaac Oluwalade of the World Cocoa FoundationAwoyinka Tosin, a young female agro-entrepreneur and a graduate of the Songhai Centre, Porto-Novo shares with the audience the need for the female gender to find their place in agriculture.She encouraged that food processing and marketing were areas that they can easily tap into.Olawale Ojo who moderated the panel session also shared a few tips on how the youth can usethe Social Media to acquire more knowledge and expand their involvement in agriculture as
  4. 4. young professionals. He also shared the role and advantage of becoming part of the Youngprofessional’s Platform for Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD) which includesinformation sharing, capacity building and becoming models to make agriculture attractive toother young people.The workshop didn’t end without the breakout sessions which focused on how to makeadjustment and changes as related to the following issues namely; capacity building, funding,rural women and youth, ICT and linking farmers to research. The day was climaxed with acaptivating presentation by Bolaji Ogunleye a UNDP Consultant on Poverty Alleviation with 25years experience who helped all in the audience to realize that now is the time for youth tobecome creators of opportunities and that it is the agricultural sector that this can be safe andconvenient landing for this. In his words, the situation of Nigeria is like a “slow-burn” that iswaiting to explode. And that if the youth are not up and doing to create a better future, it wouldbe disastrous. The youths could not but voice the words of the theme of the workshop that it isindeed “COOL TO FARM”.RESULTS AND SUSTAINABILTY 1. The workshop facilitated partnership for the organizers whom would now be inks o the other youths who would be interested in getting involved in the Cocoa Sector as the country representative of the World Cocoa Foundation has assured of more support and collaborations. 2. Twenty of the youth registered their names to join the farmers association and are now in contact with the relevant authorities to facilitate their membership. 3. In the coming months, it is also expected that more youth would join YPARD and contribute their quota to the network of Young Professionals in ARD. In the mean time, “COOL TO FARM” would move to other cities in 2013.REPORT PUT TOGETHER BY Olawale OJO for the COOL TO FARM TEAM