12 June 2014

Nigeria: Confab Tasks States, LGs On Job Creation Through Agriculture

The National Conference sitting in Abuja on Wednesday tasked states and local government areas across the country to revitalise the already existing skills acquisition and agricultural training centres in each senatorial district as an initiative towards agricultural transformation.

It is believed that when this is done, according to the delegates, agriculture would be made attractive to the youth and would become a viable platform for job creation and poverty alleviation.

Government was also urged to ensure that all the isolated programmes set up to generate employment or create wealth that are working at cross-purposes or duplicating each other are harmonised and operated under a single national scheme to achieve a common objective.

In order to make farming attractive to the younger generation, the Conference demanded a policy prohibiting any educational institution, from primary to secondary, from using farm work as a form of punishment for students' misbehaviour.

It condemned a situation where agriculture is associated with punishment and drudgery, adding, "it does not encourage young minds to be excited about, or look forward to the life of a noble farmer; a positive attitude towards agriculture is essential.

These and others were resolutions adopted by the Conference on Wednesday during consideration of amendments to the recommendations submitted by the Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources.

On loss of soil fertility, the Conference urged government to formulate policies to take cognizance of climate change and desertification by introducing species of trees and crops that are easily adapted to deserts and requires minimum water to survive.

It said government "should invest heavily in Date Palm plantations to develop its related industries in communities with serious desert encroachment challenges."

It was the position of the delegates that some animal species, which are hunted as game and locally referred to as bush meat, are being depleted and virtually becoming extinct except something was done about it and rapidly too.

It was, therefore, agreed that government should encourage and promote large scale breeding and domestication of these species of animal.

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