It is a myth to assume that Nigerian Youths are not interested in Agriculture.
Obviously, there are not interested in subsistence farming as practiced by their ancestors.
But they are interested in mechanized and digital agriculture – Farm4Me.com.ng data shows that.
It is time to demystify the fact that Nigerian youths prefer white collar jobs to agriculture. Nothing else is far from the truth.
Our youths are daring, enterprising and adventurous. Farming has these three qualities. So it is one of the ventures that can truly engage Nigerians.
But make no mistake about this. No youths will embrace the ‘for-nothing’ hardwork that comes with subsistence farming. Our youths are antipoverty and ambitious. They wouldn’t want to end up poor like their ancestors and parents experienced. Hence the reason for their running to urban areas in search of a better life.
The duty of government is primarily to create a conducive environment for the citizens to live up to their full potentials.
How Government Could Encourage Youths in Agriculture:
1. Government should finance farm equipment procurement for private companies to manage. A public private sector partnership that sees government funding capital intensive farm equipment for agritech companies.
2. Give remarkable tax exemptions to farmers and agritech companies involved in large scale farming.
3. Give free advert slots to agritech companies, farming cooperatives and farmers associations to advertise their farm produce.
4. Buy membership slots on Commodity Trading platforms like Viable X give Farming Cooperatives and Farmers Associations to sell their farm produce directly to large scale buyers at good prices.
5. To give financial grants to NGOs and social enterprises engaged in training small holder farmers on modern farming techniques based on global best practices.
6. To come up with policies that give competitive advantages to local food production over imported foreign foods.
7. To give financial grants to local food processing companies to grow and scale globally.
8. Government should intensify efforts to woe foreign investors to Nigeria’s Agriculture sector. We need to borrow a leaf from what the President of African Development Bank is doing with Western Investors and Media. It is time to beam the search light on the investment opportunities in Agriculture in Nigeria.
If the government can do all or some of the recommended tasks above, Nigerian youths will embrace agriculture in their numbers.
Adama J. Adama is the CEO of Farm4Me.com.ng
Address: Suite 1005, Anbeez Plaza, Wuse, Abuja
Phone: ++2348064806168, +2349068681808
E-mail: [email protected]
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/farm4me/