Agric Value Chains An Economic Opportunity For Youths

Abeokuta- Youths in the country have been charged to embrace agriculture and take advantage of the enormous opportunities that abound in it, as a spring-board to economic success.

This was the advice by stakeholders to Nigerian youths at the just concluded one-day Business Excellence Summit (BES), held at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) with the theme: ‘Agri-Business: The Real Deal’

Dr. Elizabeth Oluwalana, Staff Adviser of BES team in her address stated that agriculture was the pathway to success in Nigeria and as such, challenged young entrepreneurs to be innovative and come up with ways of solving agricultural problems by promoting the practice of the profession.

Dr. Oluwalana, who is from the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) in the university, also noted that there are lots of agricultural problems that need solution and as entrepreneurs, the key concern is to identify these problems and proffer solutions to them.

She said students of the university were better positioned to fill that missing gap, as a result of the training they received as students in a University of Agriculture.

“In Africa and Nigeria in particular, there are lots of agricultural problems that need solution, and as entrepreneurs, the key concern is to identify these problems and proffer solutions to them.

Speaking further she said in order to ward-off famine in Nigeria, students must love agriculture and be interested in it so that Nigeria can return to the period of the groundnut pyramid and food surplus.

Mr. Dele Osunmakinde, Chief Executive Officer Nigeria Enterprise Project, while delivering the summit lecture disclosed that “the next big thing in Nigeria is not oil or information technology but agriculture”.

He said, that is why youths must be interested in the agriculture value chain.

According to him, Nigeria has a ready market for stable foods produced in the country with a huge population of over 180 million people, who depend on stable food and buy stable food supply from the markets.

Osunmakinde, however admonished the youths not to despise days of little beginning.

He charged them to start small by utilising free parcels of lands around them and watch their supply chain grow adding that in the United States of America, farmers fall among the percentage of five richest people.

Osunmakinde also highlighted some lucrative businesses that participants could embark upon to include rice, bean, plantain, pineapple, maize and cassava farming, as well as goat, snail, poultry and cattle-rearing.

Miss Oluwatobi Adesina, the Convener of the Summit, a 400-level student in the Department of Business Administration, College of Management Science (COLMAS), stated that the summit was targeted at developing entrepreneurial skills among youths and students in tertiary institutions with a view to stirring up the dormant business ideas and entrepreneur power within them.

Source : Independent

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