The federal and state governments have been called upon to activate relevant policies and laws that will encourage active participation of youths in agriculture in the country.
This was part of the submissions by stakeholders at the 5th annual lecture, organised by Centre for Advocacy, Leadership and Development in Africa (CALDA), to commemorate this year’s International Youth Day.
Themed: “Youth Inclusiveness Towards the Realisation of Global Food Security and Sustainable Development,” the event took place yesterday at the conference hall of the Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic, Eruwa, Oyo State.
While speaking at the event, the acting Rector of Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, Mr Olaniyi Adekunle, said that agriculture needed to be developed, if the nation must have a sustainable economy.
According to him, youths’ participation in agriculture has to start with workable policies and programmes.
“We need to train, engage them and allow them to be self- sustaining. Youth restiveness and insecurity will be reduced minimally if government can do this,” Adekunle said.
He noted that the Gov. Seyi Makinde-led administration had started using agriculture to develop the economy of the state.
The acting rector pointed out that the two farm settlements at Eruwa and Ologuneru in Ibadan, which the state government was trying to upgrade to farm estates, would play vital roles in youth-inclusiveness in agriculture when they materialised.
He advised government to make provision for market by buying farm products once they were produced, saying that such would encourage more people to go into large scale agriculture since there would be market to sell whatever they produced.
Also speaking, acting Director, Directorate of Vocational Scheme and Entrepreneurship Centre, Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic, Eruwa, Mr. Wole Ayanrinde, called for the strengthening of the appeal of agriculture and food systems to young people in order to secure the future.
He called for concerted efforts to make agric sector more attractive to young people and promote their capacities to generate income.
Ayanrinde also advocated for development of systems, policies and programmes that would engage more youths in agriculture and agricultural professions.
A public speaker, Mr Akintayo Akinyemi, advocated that agricultural studies should be made a compulsory subject for students at all levels of study, as part of youth awareness towards agricultural practices.
Akinyemi added that government should always make agricultural inputs and credit facilities available to serious-minded youths and peasant farmers.
He maintained that improved agricultural facilities, such as tractors, harvesters and other equipment should always be made available to farmers.