Experts in the Agribusiness sector have urged youths in the country to leverage opportunities created by the pandemic across various value chain to create wealth and generate employment.
The experts, who spoke at a recent youth webinar with the theme ‘Rural Youth Engagement in Agribusiness –Post-COVID-19’ organized by Agrafair and supported by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan African University,Lagos, expressed optimism that the country can create jobs through the sector if value chain opportunities are fully tapped by the youths.
“There is no better time than now that young people should claim their place in the Agribusiness sector by leveraging opportunities in that space,” Peter Bankole, director of the EDC said.
Bankole said that the EDC currently has an engagement with the Master Card Foundation to create 10million jobs in the country with agric value chain accounting for 70percent of it.
He noted that adequate training will be provided and finance among others to ensure youths in the Agribusiness sector succeed in the space.
Also speaking, Olowolabi Osinowo, managing partner, Kartios Farms while sharing his experience as an agripreneur said that the sector remains strategic as it can accommodate everyone.
Osinowo urged youths to take advantage of the opportunities across the value chain by addressing challenges limiting players in the sector.
He added that youths should seek knowledge on the area they have identified opportunities and also go for training while seeking mentorship.
Modupeolu Oyetoso, founder and CEO, SmartFarm Nigeria said that since the sector is becoming more vibrant, technology and innovation is inevitable.
She stated that youths need to adopt smart farming by leveraging technology to boost productivity.
According to her, manufacturers are now looking inwards for raw materials, thus, creating more opportunities for youths to leverage in the sector to create wealth for themselves.
In her welcome speech, Njideka Anyanwu, president, Agrafair, Youth &Women in Agribusiness Advocate and host of the webinar said that her organisation advocates youth involvement in Agribusiness with emphasis on the youths in the rural communities.
“The strength of our nation is our youths and if we decide to ignore them, then we are sitting on a keg of gun powder that when it explodes, no one will be left untouched,” Anyanwu said.
“Our goal is to see that youths regardless of their tribe, colour, religion, sex, education, and cultural background realize their full potential,” she added.