The Commissioner for Agriculture in Ogun State, Adepeju Adebajo, has decried the number of youths in Nigeria, who showed interest in Agriculture business, stating that much more needs to be done, in order for the youths to find farming appealing.
Speaking on the topic, Regulatory and Policy Initiatives Driven by Technology, at the 2017 AgricTech Summit, in Lagos State, covered by Straightfromnaija, she admitted that the government and private sectors need to put more effort, and create more awareness for the youths to be encouraged to buy into the idea of farming.
“It is disappointing that we don’t have many youths involved in farming. Yes, there are challenges, but there are (also) opportunities. It is important we make farming sexy; agriculture is important because it is the largest employer of labour” Adebajo said.
She lamented that the cost of importation of agricultural products, has become a huge burden for the Nigerian government to bear, citing that millions of naira spent to import products that can be grown within the country, was the wakeup call that the government needed, “The sudden interest in agriculture is because we have developed the habit that importation can no longer be sustained.”
The commissioner also addressed the need for food security, stressing that, when the food security of a nation is being threatened, it means the national security of such country is exposed to aggression.
She added that the gap between demand and supply is huge, not just because of the lack of interest from most Nigerians, but due to farmers’ lack of education on proper farming method, “Many farmers are using the wrong yields. They are not using yields that will produce enough grains. Many are operating in the dark.” Adepeju Adebajo said.