Nigeria needs to mechanise agriculture to attract youths – Experts
Nigeria needs mechanisation and innovations to transform its agriculture and make it attractive to youths while driving food security, experts say.
The experts made a call to government and relevant stakeholders across the various agric value chains to enhance the sector through mechanisation at the Sterling Bank Plc’s 2021 agric summit held recently.
Mechanisation of agriculture has the potential not just to support agricultural transformation in Nigeria but to do so sustainably and inclusively, the experts say.
The summit with the theme ‘Building a New Agro Order’ focused on addressing the need for advanced and mechanized farming methods to replace subsistence farming which is prevalent in many parts of Nigeria and Africa.
Speaking on the topic titled ‘Food Security; Building a Resilient Food Production System’, Lois Sankey, program lead – agriculture, Mastercard Foundation, urges policymakers in the agricultural sector to enhance the sector through improved access to resources to make it more attractive to the youth because the subsistence approach does not hold much appeal for them.
She further emphasizes that the agricultural sector if well managed could reduce the level of unemployment in the country by employing millions of youths along the value chain.
She explained that introducing forward-thinking end to end interventions will attract young people and will align with the vision of Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Strategy – which is to find solutions to the youth employment challenge and reduce poverty in Africa by creating access to dignified and fulfilling jobs for women and youth.
“Youth should be encouraged to enter agriculture by creating solutions around technology and tools that are labour efficient and would help boost production,” she says.
“This would be an effective way to curb youth apathy towards agriculture,” she states.
She expresses her gratitude for the partnership between Mastercard Foundation and Sterling Bank which is focused on helping youth and budding agricultural entrepreneurs access affordable finances for their businesses.
Key stakeholders at the summit expressed optimism that Nigeria can provide leadership in the region with a vibrant agric-ecosystem.