16 January 2013

Nigeria: Director Wants Strategic Interventions in Agriculture

Mrs Karima Babangida, the Deputy Director (Gender and Youth), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that strategic interventions could attract youth to agriculture.

She said this in Abuja on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Babangida said that given the aging population and steady rural-urban migration, there was an urgent need to fund and re-brand the sector.

The Deputy Director, who rued the nature of agricultural practice in the country, noted that this had constituted a great disincentive to youth participation in agriculture.

According to her, government at all levels should encourage the involvement of young people in the agriculture sector.

She said that efforts should be made by governments and other stakeholders to provide necessary agricultural inputs such as extension services, land and credit in order to encourage the youth.

She advised that agricultural science should be incorporated at all levels of educational system in the country.

Babangida also suggested that there should be strong partnership between the government and the private sector, saying that the partnership could woo the youths to agriculture.

"Training for youth on agricultural techniques and processes can be handled by these private sectors.

"And the private sector can also help in the provision of finance and modern agricultural implements for the use of young farmers," she said.

Babangida noted that these could encourage the youths to go into fields of research in the agriculture sector.


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