An Agronomist and Agricultural Entrepreneur, Dr Aminu Salihu, has urged youths to engage in agriculture so as to help boost Nigeria’s economy in 2023.
Salihu, who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Bauchi, said that most young people preferred to move to urban centres, leaving agricultural practice for the elderly in rural areas.
According to him, statistics have shown that 60 per cent of the population is made up of youths between the ages of 25 and above, which are supposed to form the nation’s workforce.
“However, they are relatively unutilised, as most of them find agriculture practice unattractive,” he said.
Salihu, a specialist in crop production, urged the youth to be daring in order to achieve their potential.
He also advised them to be visionaries and define the particular areas of agriculture they wanted to engage in before getting into the business.
“It is never plain sailing; you can make several mistakes when you want to start or venture into agricultural production and cultivation.
“You have to learn the ropes before engaging in agricultural production, marketing and others.
“You can get a market for maize, among others, as well as transform it for livestock; so you have to focus on one particular crop cultivation as a beginner,” he said.
Salihu urged the youth not to be afraid of recording failure on the first try.
According to him, agriculture comes with its major challenges, ranging from fluctuating prices to high cost of transportation from farm to market.
He also urged those in the agricultural business and those desiring to go into it to add more value to their produce by transforming them to serve other sectors.
“Before venturing into agriculture, it is necessary to do a market analysis to ensure that consumers are in need of the products to be cultivated.
“I also recommended that farmers get into common initiative groups to be able to market their products better,” he said.
The expert appealed to government and private organisations to fashion policies that would encourage youth’s engagement in agricultural entrepreneurship.