By Gami Tadanyigbe
Nigeria Young Farmers Network (NYFN), an NGO, has called on governments at all levels to reposition the agricultural sector as part of measures to diversify the economy and boost food security.
Mr Promise Amahah, the Director General (DG) and National Coordinator of the group, made the call at a press conference on Monday in Abuja.
Amahah urged governments to focus more on agriculture through rebranding, adequate facilities and youth engagement to encourage enterprise and make the sector interesting for economic development.
He said the mission of the organisation was to raise a generation of young people that are motivated, empowered and stirred to operate with natural excellence through agriculture.
“These exemplary leaders of excellence at every age and stage are committed and involved with the process of national transformation through Agriculture.
“As Nigeria’s 60th independence celebration approaches, the Nigeria Young Farmers Network has planned a massive rally in commemoration of the big day.
“Our planned rally theme is: ’60 years Later: Yes We Can”.
“It is an opportunity to make a bold statement that young Nigerians are capable of addressing most pressing challenges through agriculture.
“The Nigerian youth is key in unlocking the potential of agriculture and creating wealth for the nation. The objective of the rally is to x-ray how far we have come as a nation through agriculture.
“We want to mobilise young people to affirm that ‘Yes We Can’ fix the agricultural sector and mobilise all stakeholders to get involved in the process of repositioning the sector to create jobs and wealth,” he said.
The coordinator said that agriculture, which was one of the major sectors in Nigeria, had engaged more than 70 per cent of the population of the country.
He maintained that inconsistency in agricultural policies which is noticeable nationwide, had contributed to the slow growth and development in the sector.
According to him, farmers should be seen as major stakeholders because of the key role they play in the growth of the economy, especially since the sector is gradually going digital.
“Our rally plans to create the much needed awareness and public enlightenment on the need to rebrand, reposition and revamp our agricultural sector.
“With unemployment rising at an alarming rate of 2.7 per cent, growing insecurity and hunger, rising debt profile and capital flight, it is a matter of urgency to engage the youth fully.
“Our 60 years later: Yes we can” rally is a deliberate effort and global statement of commitment from young Nigerians to affirm that, yes we can grow our economy through agriculture.
“Yes, we can create jobs and reduce unemployment, grow our own food and achieve food security, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, think global and act local,” he said.
The DG appealed to the government to address the issues of post harvest losses, climate change and encourage farm input vendors to ensure food security and job creation. (NAN)