Why Govt Needs to Rejig Agriculture, Rekindle Youth Interest – NACHCARD

The National Committee of Heads of Colleges of Agriculture and Related Disciplines (NACHCARD) has urged the Federal Government to upscale efforts in revamping the agricultural sector in order to strengthen the economy post-COVID-19.

According to the Committee, a major way of achieving the revitalisation is by spurring youth interest in the value chain.

NACHCARD made the call during its general conference which was held in Abuja on Wednesday.

National Chairman, NACHCARD, Dr. Oluyemi Akande, said the call was necessary, as the country could not afford to lose its good record attained during the pandemic.

He harped on the need to train young farmers on better agricultural practices, while moving towards a mechanised farming system.

According to him, youth involvement, as well as intensified efforts towards avoiding post-harvest losses would ensure food security in a post-COVID-19 Nigeria.

He said, “In repositioning agriculture for food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there is the need to prepare a replacement for the aging local subsistence farming system by rekindling the interest of youth in agriculture through agricultural mechanisation.

“One of the salient ways to achieve this is to build the capacity of youth in agriculture through which they will be equipped with requisite skills to earn a decent living while contributing to boosting food production in the post-COVID-19.

“By doing so, they need to be trained in tractorisation to be able to operate tractor for large scale and intensive farming with a full range of implements (plough, harrow, ridger, haul and handle all other 3- points linkage attachments such as boom sprayer, slasher, planter and carry out routine and scheduled maintenance operations with less supervision.”

Akande added that the aforesaid would result in more job opportunities for the youths, in addition to the pre-determined aim of attaining food security.

He also called on the government to adopt improved agricultural practices in terms of infrastructure development, better storage facilities and adoption of climate-smart agriculture.

According to him, effective pest control, agribusiness support and farmland accessibility through better road networks are also needed.

“Good roads that are tarred help in the evacuation of foodstuffs from the hinterland to the urban cities or other areas where they are needed.

“The use of different types of vehicles as was mentioned before is a catalyst towards the realisation of those lofty goals,” he averred.


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