Drudgery of farm work, perceived and less prestigious nature of farming are some of the factors that make many Nigerian youths shun agriculture over the years.
For about a decade now, the government and other stakeholders in the sector, have been clamouring for the engagement of the energetic youths in agriculture to replace the ageing farming population.
Considering the danger this situation poses to the nation’s economic diversification programme, an agricultural expert and former president of the Animal Science Society of Nigeria, Prof. Placid Njoku, has listed some ingredients needed to attract youths to agriculture.
According to Njoku, who disclosed this recently during an interactive session on Radio Nigeria network news, “the youths are digital”, so agriculture needed to be technology driven to attract their attention.
Agricultural “mechanisation and entrepreneurship” are also among some of the attractants listed by the professor to get the youths involved in agriculture.
He also said that incentives should be offered to lure young men and women into agriculture.
Njoku stated that agriculture must be made a profitable venture for the youths to reap the benefits of their labour.
He urged the government to step up its efforts through research institutes to mechanise agriculture as done in Israel and other countries.
Similarly, the Executive Director representing Nigeria at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Bright Okongwu, has at a recent event in Abuja, urged capitalists to make agriculture attractive to the youths by assisting them with fund to practice modern agriculture.
He said agriculture should no longer be seen as a drudgery business, adding that young men and women should be encouraged to go into farming.
Source- Daily Trust