Food Security: Ways to engage Nigerian youth in agriculture to enhance self-sufficiency, say experts

*Office Chérifien des Phosphates, ATBU jointly organise specialised training in agribusiness for 30 youth leaders in Bauchi

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

As regards practical measures to enable the Nigerian youths to embrace and become proficient in technical and commercial skills needed in agribusiness, experts in Agriculture have suggested ways of engaging them to promote and improve food security in the country.

The agricultural experts stated this following a one-week training of 30 youths on soil samples and techniques, in Bauchi, Bauchi State capital, Sunday, October 4.

Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU) organised the training in Bauchi, says agency report.

The 30 participants were said to have been selected from Sokoto, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger, and Bauchi States for the project.

Dr. Donald Madukwe, Head, Agronomy for OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited, the organisers gave the participants some kind of specialised training in order to enable them to become proficient in technical and commercial skills.

Madukwe stated that the training also would enable the young population to function as service providers and independent business owners within the Agriculture ecosystem in Nigeria.

The Head of Agronomy for OCP Africa Fertilizers Nigeria Limited said: “They will, therefore, be able to eke out a livelihood and promote and improve food security.”

According to him, the participants are young leaders trained under the Empowering African Youths (EMAY) project in the country.

The participants were also empowered with agronomy know-how and agricultural tools.

These, he stated, “mobile digital soil laboratories for soil testing and analysis, Cargo tricycles to reach rural farming communities as last mile retailers of inputs.

“They got electronic tablets for data gathering using digital solution, and small handheld implements to enable them deliver value to smallholder farmers in rural communities.”

The Head of Agronomist said EMAY is a project that seeks to equip young Nigerians with capabilities to be self-employed as future agriculture entrepreneurs.

Besides, the youth leaders would be supported with monthly stipends of N30,000 for some initial period of time before their businesses can take root and stabilise.

Prof. Ahmed Sarki-Fagam, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, ATBU Bauchi, said youth engagement in Agriculture development was critical in improving food security.

Sarki-Fagam observed that agricultural development is critically important to improving food security and nutrition in the country.

The Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, said: “This will increase the quantity and diversity of food, drive economic transformation, and provide the primary source of income for many people.”

ATBU signed an MoU with OCP Africa so as to empower African youth in the business of Agriculture, disclosed Sarki-Fagam.

He urged the participants to make good use of the opportunities and knowledge acquired to sustain themselves.

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