Media

MAKING AGRICULTURE ATTRACTIVE TO THE YOUTH

Over the years many industries and occupations have come and gone. As jobs outlived their usefulness, the industry dies out. One industry that can never die out is agriculture. People must have food, shelter, and clothing. All of these needs, especially food, depend on agriculture.

Even though agriculture will always exist, the way things are done in agriculture will change. Just look at all of the changes that have occurred since humans first began to till the earth using sharpened sticks. Although changes took place over thousands of years, most have occurred during the last century. Futurists tell us that the changes you will see during your lifetime will be greater than any that have occurred so far. That is hard to imagine!

Young people may not always regard farming as a glamorous career, but Nigerian youths urgently needs these skills. For many young people who have just graduated, this is an interesting and exciting period as they start a new chapter in their life’s journey. It is now time to face the big bad world! Some are leaving home and becoming independent for the first time in their lives. For others, this is a difficult phase, because for various reasons they did not make it into university or other tertiary institution of their choice.This group of young people will hopefully embark on a journey that will see them acquiring the skills they need to make it in the world. Such skills would also go a long way towards helping the country realize some of its most important goals, thereby improving the lives of ordinary Nigerians. Unfortunately, there are certain career paths that Nigeria’s youth would rather avoid because obtaining the necessary qualifications seems too difficult, or the jobs themselves are viewed as unglamorous.

Most young men picture themselves working in banks and oil companies with elegant offices in the Centre of Nigeria’s major cities. They want jobs that will allow them to dine out in top class restaurants, and live in luxurious, secure township house complexes, rather than working in harsh environments and living in areas that are not so comfortable.

One very specific sector that is desperately short of skills is the agricultural sector. Very few young people want to embark on a career in agriculture. I recently asked one such graduate why he did not want to work in agriculture. With a puzzled tone to his voice, he responded: “And do what kind of work on a farm?”
He looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I wanted to ask him what was wrong with working on a farm and explain to him that choosing a career in this sector was not only about ‘working on a farm’, but that he could have a career in agriculture and still sit in a comfortable office in a city center! But I realized I was too late.

A young man like this need to be reoriented, especially if we want to attract more youths to agriculture.The main problem is that our people are not being trained on enterprise development skills unlike what happens in the United States and some other developed economies. Overseas, college students begin to get this kind of training at high school level, even before they get into the university.We need to establish a structure to teach our graduates enterprise development skills.Another challenge is that of preserving most farm produce from getting rotten, due to this, farmers were always forced to sell their farm produce at ridiculous prices. This is part of the major setbacks for Nigerian farmers; it is also responsible for the lack of interest in agriculture by some people, especially the youths.

Agriculture is Nigeria’spriority option for economic transformation, growth and development for the socio-economic development of communities in the years to come. Secondly agriculture was identified as an important sector of the Nigerian economy employing over 60 per cent of Nigerians including many rural women, and contributing 35 percent of the country’s GDP. It is regrettable that despite the involvement of over 60 per cent of her population in Agriculture, agriculture in Nigeria is largely focused on food crops for the domestic market. Nigeria however, remains a net importer of food largely because of the small scale nature of agricultural operations, with limited innovation regarding inputs, harvesting, processing, distribution and access to markets.

Agriculture should be emphasize as a key business sector which, like other sectors, requires the engagement of the Organized Private Sector across critical value chains by way of provision of easy and cheap financing and support systems, including equipment, transportation,and marketing support. With adequate support and incentives, this will result in the emergence of small and medium size enterprises which can create value and jobs across critical value chains.

Government should also develop a deliberate policy of restricting importation of agricultural products that can be produced locally in Nigeria and provide incentives for large scale mechanized farming to create employment, achieve increased productivity and self-sufficiency in food production for local consumption and export. Surely, the youths will be attracted to mechanize farming than the currentprimitive, small-holder, and hoe-and-cutlass system, which explains why agriculture is in the doldrums and the country is food-dependent.

Nigerians cannot continue to watch as Singapore escapes Third World status, South Korea becomes one of the most knowledge-driven high income societies on earth and Brazil goes from potential to a top 10 economy in the world. These arecountries that started roughly at par with Nigeria at independence.

 

CLICK HERE FOR NEXT ARTICLE

 

s naturally with agricultural waste materials to produce our high quality edible oyster mushrooms for top class hotels and restaurants and mushroom spawn and bag for people who would like to harvest their ownready-made from their kitchen. We deliver year round on our weekly route to stores, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and individuals.

 

Jovana Integrated Farms

127, Isolo Road, Mushin, Lagos.
92/94 Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu
Owerri-Aba Exp. Rd; Airport Junction, Umuowa, Ngor-Okpalla, Imo

Tel: 080 33262 808 / 08029373076 / 
080 52168189

Email: info@jovanafarm.com         jovanafarms@gmail.com

  1. Training
  2. Farm Set-Up
  3. Agro Export Business
  4. Technical Support
  5. Nationwide Agro Awareness Seminars
  6. Consultancy
 
JOVANA INTEGRATED FARMS is a leading agricultural project management company with a core focus on breeding and marketing products of grasscutter, ostrich, snail, fish, mushroom, etc. We provide services across the entire grasscutter, ostrich and other livestock production, offering training services and solutions....
080 33262 808 / 08029373076 / 080 52168189
Fertile Grasscutters Breeding Families Available for Sale
info@jovanafarm.com  , jovanafarms@gmail.com
Mushroom, Seeds & Bags Available for Sale
127, Isolo Road, Mushin, Lagos.
92 / 94 Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu.
Owerri-Aba Exp. Rd; Airport Junction, Umuowa, Ngor-Okpalla, Imo
90 Days Old Ostrich Breeders Available for Sale
18 Months Old Snail Breeders Available for Sale
Website designed by Dyhad Technologies www.dyhadtech.com