Business man Tasks Govt On Youths Participation In Agriculture
A business executive and Chief Executive Officer of ‘Farm 4 me’, Adams J. Adama, has urged governments at all levels to encourage youth participation in agriculture through Public Private Partnership.
He said that time has come for the country to embrace mechanized and large scale agriculture and deemphasize white collar jobs, saying Nigerian youths are daring, enterprising and adventurous.
Adama who made the call on Tuesday while speaking to airport correspondents, at Port Harcourt Intentional Airport, Omagwa, said that it is myth to assume that Nigerian youths are not interested in agriculture.
“They are not interested in subsistence farming as their ancestors and fathers, but are interested in mechanised and digital agriculture.
“Agriculture is one of the ventures that can truly engage Nigerians. Our youths are anti-poverty and ambitious, they would not want to end up poor like their ancestors, hence the reason for running to urban areas in search of better life.
“The duty of government is primarily to create a conducive environment for the citizens to live up to their full potentials, and it is time to beam the searchlight on the investment opportunities in agriculture in Nigeria”, he said.
On how government could encourage youths in agriculture, the agriculturist said government should finance farm equipment procurement for private companies to manage, as well as give remarkable tax exemptions to farmers and agrictech companies to encourage large scale farming.
“Free advert slots should be given to agrictech companies, farming cooperatives and farmers association to advertise their farm produce. Platforms should be created to enable farm produce be sold directly to large scale buyers at good prices.
”Government should also give financial grants to NGOs and social enterprises engaged in training small holders farmers on modern farming techniques based on global best practices.
“ Efforts should be intensified to woo foreign investors to Nigeria’s agricultural sector, and also come up with policies that give competitive advantages to local food production over imported foreign foods”, Adama said.
The agro business executive expressed optimism that Nigerian youths would embrace agriculture in their numbers if government can do all, or some of the recommended tasks.