The Youth Wing of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has called on government at all levels to encourage youth involvement in agriculture.
Mr Andrew Odihi- Ogiamen, Edo Coordinator of NACCIMA Youth Wing, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Monday.
Odihi-Ogiamen said that modern agriculture was an expensive venture for youths to finance alone without support from the government.
He said that the government needed to put the necessary infrastructural development in farming communities to serve as an incentive to attract youths to agriculture.
“Most youths in the country are not interested in agricultural ventures because they don’t want to use crude implements which sap energy and are also unprofitable.
“They want to use modern equipment but these equipment are expensive to procure.
“Agriculture is not a cheap venture, especially the modern day agriculture which involves mechanisation.
“Gone are the days you have to rely on rainfall before you cultivate.
“But there are no functional dams in many farming communities, so people rely on boreholes for irrigation. How many youths can sink boreholes,’’ he asked.
He recommended that the government should buy more tractors for hiring as well as provide farm inputs such as fertilizer and herbicides at subsidised rates for youths involved in agriculture.
The coordinator also recommended that the government could set up farm estates to boost youth participation in agricultural production.
“The government can establish farm settlements for youths with industrial boreholes, affordable accommodation, solar power and subsidised farm lands and inputs.
“Youths want to do agribusiness in a conducive environment that will allow them to express themselves and be at par with their counterparts in non-agribusiness ventures,’’ he said. (NAN)