As important as agriculture is to the nation, especially in job creation, the younger generation is disinterested in the practice. MARTHA NWACHUKWU sampled opinions of some youths on what should be done to encourage them.
Buchi Ezenwafor, 23
Every human enjoys the benefit of agriculture. We all need food for sustenance, it is a basic necessity. Regardless, we need to seriously get engaged in it as to help boost the economy of the country. Aside cassava and yams, there are other food crops we can export to earn more into the nation’s purse.
Agriculture is indeed lucrative, but our youths run away from it because they see it as a job meant for people in the rural area. This mentality has to be changed. I am happy that even in schools, it is being taught as a subject but saddening, less than 30% going into the higher institution these days put it in as a course of study.
Personally, I would love to go into it. There are now new technologies that make work easier and enjoyable, so there won’t be need for much manual labourers.
Phillip Ezeike, 22
Agriculture is good because it is a means of sustaining life. If not taken seriously, there will be scarcity of food, thereby leading to famine which could lead to death.
I think Nigeria is trying in the agricultural section as we feed on most of our crops like cocoyam, maize, vegetables and even livestock. Although, most youths don’t go into agriculture because they believe it is tedious.
Definitely, I would go into agriculture if all the necessary requirements are available especially finance.
In order to resuscitate agriculture in Nigeria, the government has the biggest role to play especially in the provision of fertilizers and irrigation. Unfortunately, government does not make agriculture attractive to the youths even though it will address the problem of unemployment.
Most youths do not go into agriculture because it is not attractive. Making agriculture attractive is quite simple; all it requires is proper and adequate funding by government and private sector.
Going into agriculture here in Nigeria is not quite easy because there are still lots of things to be put in place.
Chibuzor Nneji, 22
We have become so fixated on oil that agriculture has suffered in this country.
I know that most youths are not interested in agriculture because it doesn’t seem fashionable to them, they prefer office jobs. But this is partly so because there is no proper orientation in agriculture.
Yes, I can go into agriculture but not now, maybe someday when the infrastructures are in place and the conditions are better.
I think the solution has to begin from the grassroots. Agriculture should first be made lucrative to encourage participation. Road networks should be improved; infrastructures such as machines should be procured; policies should be made on soft loans and land procurement. Land scale farming should be encouraged especially in the area we have comparative advantage, for instance, cassava, so as to enhance export revenue.
All these and proper orientation are the responsibilities of the government together with providing enabling environment. If these things are successfully done, then we can be sure of greatly reducing our unemployment rate.
Nwamaka Ndego, 20
Honestly, I don’t really know much about agriculture in Nigeria, but I can categorically state that it is bad and that is why most of our foods are expensive. We also import much more than we export.
Agriculture here is not lucrative in any way except for those that are into fishery; they are the ones who make it a bit.
I cannot go into agriculture because I don’t like it. It is strenuous and requires a lot of time especially land farming. The finance is also another issue.
One hardly find youths, especially educated ones in that field because it is not quite lucrative and not many have the patience for such job. The climate changes here are not so favourable also.
The government can do well to seek the advice of well learned agriculturist who can proffer solutions to most of the issues that are not beyond human efforts. Also, there is need for orientation and encourage for the youths in order to enlighten and support them.
It used to be very lucrative back then when we had the groundnut pyramids and cocoa plantations. They made many wealthy before the emergence of petroleum.
At present, agriculture in Nigeria is majorly on a small scale and subsistence level as more and more people tend to cherish white collar jobs even when they have the potentials to become established farmers.
Most youths do not venture into it firstly because large scale agriculture demands much capital to establish and maintain. Many are willing to go into it but don’t have the money for it.
I think this situation can be changed for the better if the government can provide enough funds, loans and capital to willing and prospective farmers.
Chinonye Okpara, 18
The agricultural sector that is said to be the second generator of income in Nigeria is lagging behind. The sector lacks funding and recognition by the government. If this sector is free from certain barriers then 50% of Nigeria’s problems can be solved like unemployment, hunger and poverty.
Youths nowadays are not involved in agriculture because of lack of education on this type of business. Most youths also think that agriculture as a business is not lucrative.
Of course, I’d love to go into agriculture because it is an interesting business and it is also very lucrative. It also gives me flexibility of time usage and of course I’ll be my own boss.
The agricultural sector in Nigeria is facing a lot of problems as no efforts have been put in by the government to boost the benefit that this sector will bring to the country.
Agriculture is indeed a lucrative job that is when it is being utilized and also financed. It is one of the everlasting professions. It is a resource that can never be exhausted. Nigeria has a rate of importation because they overlook agriculture. That is why we lack food and raw materials. Look around, you can hardly find anything fresh or natural especially vegetables. I once worked with a shipping company and most of the cargoes contained imported foods especially rice.
Any country that invests much in agriculture will invest less in importation but unfortunately, Nigeria invests much in importation.
I can go into agriculture, but a large amount of capital is needed. Agriculture needs a lot of investment which an individual alone cannot finance. Mega tractors and other equipments cost a fortune. For just an individual to go into land farming means it is for family consumption not for the nation.
This is why we need the government to adequately finance and look into it so that our graduates can conveniently take it up as a profession as well as initiate better ideas to re-awaken it.
Anthony Udogwu, 26
I know agriculture in Nigeria has nosedived seriously because we now import most foodstuffs from other countries and agriculture can be said to be lucrative when you practice it in large scale.
‘Say wetin happen’, I cannot venture into agriculture for now except I have a good financial standing. It requires a lot of capital for one to go into a lucrative agriculture.
Most youths do not venture into it because of the capital to start with and there are no encouragement from their parents and the government.