The Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, has urged the Nigerian youths and farmers to take advantage of the continued border closure to explore the goldmine in agriculture.
The Nanono made the call during the project inauguration of the Youth Agro-preneurial Goldmine, organised by the Oyo State Agropreneur (OYAP) in Ibadan.
The minister, who was represented by the Zonal Director of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (Southwest), Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, said: “If we close the borders, we provide opportunities for our farmers. When the borders are opened, some of these substandard goods that are not even produced in the country come into the country.
“But now, borders are closed, and farmers should take advantage, go to the farm, produce more, add value to the crop and sell. We have the market now. Produce your own, make it good and sell.
“The youth should also just come into agriculture. It is better than all these white-collar jobs. The government is happy that they are partnering with us in the area of agriculture. They should leverage the support that the government is giving them.
“They should encourage themselves not only in farming but in agribusiness. So, they should tap into and get the support of the government and improve their lives.”
The Coordinator, Oyo Young Agropreneur (OYAP), Miss Ibukunoluwa Tubi, said agriculture is the new oil business, saying the next billionaires would come from agriculture.
The OYAP coordinator said: “The rationale behind this programme is the fact that we recognise among the youth, first of all, that some perspectives have to be changed. A lot of youths haven’t seen agriculture as something for the youth. We need to let them see that other people outside the country who are doing agriculture actually become successful.
“The majority of billionaires outside this country are agro-preneurs. That is why we need to let our youth see it. There are a lot of obstacles though, that is why we have brought a lot of organizations here that we will be working together. By the time we work together, we would have broken all the barriers that are making the youth run away from agriculture”.
“The next set of billionaires will come from agriculture because there a lot of opportunities to make a lot of money in agriculture. Agriculture is a new oil business. Once you’re strategic, then you are in the money. But the first thing is, have the right skills. Know what it takes and that is what this platform is all about.”
Mrs. Olusola Sowemimimo, an owner of organic farm in Ogun State, said: “Agriculture is a goldmine. If you are able to harness your efforts towards that, it is an area where you can thrive. It is a goldmine. There is a lot of opportunities they can harness from agriculture. It is important they find their passion, build capacity and networking, learning the best production practices.