Mr Edwin Ozioko, an Nsukka-based crop farmer, has urged theFederal Government to continue give priority to agriculture in order to tackle unemployment in the country.
Ozioko told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka on Tuesday that more investment in agriculture by government would not only create employment, but help to reduce security challenges in the country.
“I commend government’s special attention to the agricultural sector in 2019, and 2020 and urge her to do same this 2021.
” Because of this special attention, there is reduction in importation of food items, especially rice, into the country.
“Its a thing of joy and good development in the economy that about 80 per cent of rice consumed in the country now are locally produced.
” Rice farmers in the country now employ many people to assist them in their business since the business has become more lucrative,” he said.
The crop farmer expressed optimism that if this attention was sustained by government more jobless Nigerians would be provided employments in agricultural sector.
” One of the ways to solve the problem of insecurity in the country is by providing employment to jobless youths roaming our streets searching for nonexistent white-collar job.
“When our youths are gainfully engaged, the rate of crime in the country will reduce to the barest minimum, since it’s only an idle mind that is a devil’s workshop,” he said.
According to him, adequate investment in agriculture will enable diversification of the economy as well as help the country to achieve food security in record time.
“In 1960s, agriculture was the mainstay and highest foreign exchange earner of Nigeria’economy.
” The country’s economy is in a bad shape now because agriculture was relegated to the background when Nigeria discovered crude oil,” he said.