Youth involvement in Agric: How attracting?

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The need for government to actively involve youths in its bid to overhaul the agric sector has once again been stressed

This special report examines the plight of youths involved in agriculture in Ondo state

There is no doubt that ondo state is one of the most productive states in agriculture in the south west. That is why government in recent times put in place different Agro-business ventures to empower youths interested in agriculture

It is however surprising that despite government’s investment evident in the establishment of agric villages and farm cities there was little success to show for it

Some youth farmers who participated in the state’s Agro-business ventures attributed the fall out to poor planning and coordination

One of them Samuel Okefusi enjoined government to give them six week intensive training alongside substantial amount of money to kick off their own agro-business ventures

Another participant on the scheme who pleaded anonymity enjoined government to pay their monthly stipend as at when due adding that seeing the gains of agriculture and governments dedicated interest is a motivation capable of reducing unemployment

A farmer Mr. Omoboronle however observed that what was needed was attitudinal change by youths. He pointed out that adequate awareness of the benefits of agriculture should be instilled into children from their tender age.

Reacting the chairman, ondo state wealth creation agency, mrs Bolanle Olafunmiloye nooted that efforts were being put in place to address different challenges faced in engaging youths in the states agric villages. She confirms that there were challenges but that government was looking forward to developing more infrastructure and programmes that teeming unemployed youths could benefit from. She added that government was also considering ways of incorporating under-graduates into agro-business activities in areas of poultry, fishery and cassava farming

Consequently the ondo state government had earmarked a 1,000 hectare land in ore Agric village in odigbo local government for emerging agro-preneurs for the cultivation of cassava and rice planting

The revived agric village has accommodation, power, water and have been described by the international institute of tropical agriculture IITA as worthy of emulation by other states

The IITA representative, Mr. Kenton Dashiel at the inauguration of the 1000 hectare land said the organisation was collaborating with the ondo state government in areas of its expertise to make agriculture attracting to the Nigerian youths

It is believed that the collaboration would help proffer solution to bottlenecks dragging agriculture in the land to the back seat of development

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