Minister urges youths to embrace agriculture
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has tasked youths in the country to embrace agriculture as a source of livelihood saying that 90 percent of crisis experienced in Nigeria are driven by hunger.
In a keynote address delivered at the “Feed the future Nigeria Agricutural Policy Project with theme: Promoting agricultural policy in Nigeria: challenges and opportunities in Abuja recently, the Agric Minister challenged youths to shun social vices and instead get involved in agriculture as a way of securing their future.
According to him, Nigerian youths must return to commercial/mechanized agriculture in order to curb the looming hunger that is imminent.
“Nigeria will have a bleak future in terms of food if we do not plan now…. Nigeria consumes seven million tons of rice annually and the fact that we largely depend on other countries like Thailand and Malaysia for this quantity of rice is a concern so we are introducing mechanized agriculture to encourage our youths.”
Nigeria youths should not wait for white collar jobs but go back to the farm by taking charge of their future, assuring them of adequate farm facilities to make their work easier.
He added that the need for us to attain food sufficiency is not only for Nigeria but also for neighboring countries like Chad, Niger, Sudan and Mali who depend on us for food.
Chief Ogbeh further called for the development and use of improved seed varieties in order to attain increase in yield per hectare as special fertilizers have been developed to suit different soil types in the country.
In a goodwill message at the event, the Mission Director USAID, Mr. Michael Harvey said that he was pleased with the priority given to agriculture by the present administration with the production of the ‘Green Alternative’ agriculture policy document.