The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that it would soon establish youth agriculture business investment initiative in the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, made this disclosure while receiving the Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, in Abuja.
He said that the initiative would constitute a technical committee from both ministries which would fashion out ways to engage youths more in agriculture.
Blaming the high unemployment rate in the country on poor performance of the agriculture sector, the minister reiterated that the ministry was positioning itself strategically to boost the sector by making agriculture more attractive to the younger generation.
He added that it was regrettable that the rate of unemployment was rising, but expressed optimism that with the determination of the present administration, Nigeria would not only attain food sufficiency, but create jobs for millions.
While noting that the aging population of Nigerian farmers was in the region of between 65 to 70 years, the minister stressed the need to harness the country’s youth resources.
According to him: “we are proposing a situation where by Nigerian farmers will go to the farm without hole and cutlass. We need to modernize agriculture, in terms of technology given to farmers, in terms of investment, and also in terms of incentives given to them.”
Adesina however, advanced that there were several ways of creating jobs for the youth through value chain in the sector, citing aquaculture as an instance.
Earlier in his remark, the youth minister, mentioned that his ministry was charged with the responsibility of catering for 68 million unemployed Nigerians.
He lamented that unemployment has increased rapidly from 12.5 per cent in 2007 to its present 25 per cent, maintaining that if the problem was not resolved, the future of the country was bleak.