1 The traditional ruler of Omu-Aran in Kwara, Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, has urged government at all levels in the country to increase funding of agriculture to make it more attractive to youths and the womenfolk.
3 The monarch said that involvement of youths and women in all categories of agricultural practices would assist to secure the nation’s growth and economic diversification.
4 He said Nigerian youths had formidable roles to play in the government’s efforts to diversify the nation’s economy from oil to agriculture-based.
5 According to the monarch, transforming agriculture requires a collective responsibility of all stakeholders to achieve success.
6 Adeoti suggested a well-coordinated national policy on agriculture to be embraced by all tiers government to develop the sector.
7 He decried the situation whereby most of the youth empowerment initiatives were concentrated on distribution of motorcycles, grinding machines alone, with less regard for agriculture at the grassroots.
8 Adeoti criticised the influx of many youths into commercial motorcycle business, saying such could be a stumbling block to government’s developmental efforts.
9 “Government needs to make agriculture attractive, especially with the availability of credit facility and farm inputs to the youth.
10 “There is the need to refocus the minds of the youths from ‘get-rich-quick’ syndrome, for them to embrace agriculture as a trade and vocation.
11 “Other farming inputs and incentives to promote agriculture mechanisation should be highly subsidised,” he said.
12 The royal father also identified lack of continuity in government policies as a major factor hindering successful implementation of past laudable agriculture initiatives.
13 “It seems there is lack of coordination or working relationship among all tiers of government as far as agriculture development is concerned,” the monarch said.
14 He described the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) initiative of the past administration, aimed at registering 20 million farmers nationwide, as deserving replication by states and local government areas.
15 “There is need for state Ministries of Agriculture to work in tandem with their federal counterparts in the areas of research, documentation and development.
16 “Same goes for the local government areas, agriculture institutions and centres spread across the country.
17 “By so doing, our efforts in making agriculture a veritable alternative to boost the nation’s economy would be achieved,” the traditional ruler said.
19 Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Wale Ojetimi