The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, has urged Nigerian youths to lead the revolution in the agricultural sector.
Nanono made the call in a statement by Ezeaja Ikemefuna, the Chief Information Officer of the ministry in Abuja on Friday, Eko hot blog gathered.
Ikemefuna explained that the minister said this at a working visit to the participants of the Naija Farmer Reality TV Show at the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) in Abuja on Friday.
Nanono said that with a population of about 200 million Nigerians, of which 60 per cent were youths, they needed to be empowered in the drive towards achieving food sufficiency and boosting the nation’s economy.
He said that the participants, who were young intended farmers, were being trained in the various agricultural value chains and would be offered an initial capital to start agribusiness.
“They will be role models to other young Nigerians as they will find it interesting to invest their time and energy in the agricultural sector,” he said.
The show, he said, was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to lift Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years by creating more jobs, achieving food security and enhancing economy growth in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Mrs Karima Babangida, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, said that the programme had been running for about three months.
According to her, the show was designed as a youth empowerment project intended to transform unemployed Nigerian youths to become agribusiness investors.
“The participants have been trained in various value chains and other sub-sectors in the Agric sector and these youths will lead the modernisation of Nigerian Farmers,” she said.
Also speaking, Dr Chigbo Okoli, the Chief Promoter of the Naija Farmer Reality TV Show, said that the maiden edition of the show included 20 housemates.
The housemates, he said, were selected from the six geo-political zones of the country. He pointed out that the participants would receive Seed Capital from Bank of Agriculture and other financial institutions to establish Smallholder Agribusiness.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Mr Oludele Oluyemi, said that the training, embarked during the course of the reality show, would be useful.
Oluyemi gave assurance that they would be role models towards inspiring other youths to invest in the agricultural sector. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-month reality show will formally come to a close on Sunday.