ABUJA- AS the government continues to woo young people into agriculture, stakeholders in the sector has unveiled the ‘National Youth Manifesto on Agriculture for Nigeria’ to further boost confidence in food production and processing in the sector.
The launch of the document was done at the 2nd National Youth Agric Festival on agribusiness in Abuja, where the stakeholders said would serve as guide to government and development partners on positive and lasting impact on the aspirations and needs of young people in the sector.
In her remarks at the opening ceremony of the festival, Chief Executive Officer, CEO and Founder, Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative, FYBDI, Nkiruka Nnaemego, said the document developed by several youth based organisations will enhance and fast-track government’s effort towards attracting youth to take up agriculture as business and occupation, which her organization currently works on to bring youth on board and be on the driver’s seat. “We are joining Oxfam Nigeria and Voice for Food Security to advocate for active citizens voices on right to food and increased public investments in small scale agriculture under the United4Food Campaign.
She also disclosed that YFarm project will be partnering with Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, to implement a project called, ‘Building a Climate Resilient Generation’ to train 80 rural youth selected from eight states on climate smart agriculture. Meanwhile, Policy Officer, Development Finance, One Campaign, Fiona Robertson, said the initiative was good and her organisation partners with FYBDI to host the maiden edition of the YFarm Agrifest Technology Village.
According to Robertson her organisation has sponsored five young innovators selected from four different states to participate in the technology fair, which will identify, promote and upscale youth-led agric technological solutions for increased youth participation, agricultural productivity, food and nutrition security.
In his speech, Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, ECOWAS Commission, Mr AlainbSy Traore, advised young people in member states rise up and engage positively with their governments and other stakeholders to ensure their concerns and aspirations are fully reflected in the new generation of national agriculture investment plan for food and nutrition security (NAIP-FNS).
Traore who was represented by the Head of Agriculture Division at the Commission, Mr Ernest Aubee, said through positive engagement with the youth in culture that the region can be food secure. “Youth are the driving force of agricultural improvement in West Africa. It is therefore imperative for all stakeholders to create an enabling environment for youth in agriculture and will contribute towards employment creation, income generation, food security, livelihoods enhancement and poverty alleviation”, Aubee said.