Young people in any country represent the future of a country. They have a vital role to play in the development of their country, a duty they must perform. There are many ways that youth can contribute to national development; they can do so by working hard in any field they are involved in, be it teaching, engineering or farming field.
However, to ensure the active participation of young people in national agribusiness, they need to be supported and encouraged by the government, the private sector, the civil society and their parents. They also need to have a mind-set that agriculture isn’t a way of life, but a business which should be taken serious.
In view of this, opinions were sought from some youth about the Youth Agribusiness Development Initiative (YADI). They were asked what they think about the initiative and the roles they think youth can play in making the program a reality.
Busayo, a graduate of Soil science and Land resource management presently serving as a youth corps member at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture(IITA) said the initiative is a good program which would enable youth to be fully brought into the agricultural sector, and that Nigeria is moving to a stage where agriculture will be our main stay and move away from oil production and focus more on her first love, which is agriculture. She believes youths are capable and that the program will be able to enlighten and open the eyes of people to see what future really lies in agriculture. The role youth can play in making the program a reality is making themselves available for the program/task ahead.
Caroline, a graduate of crop science was happy about the initiative, and said that there has been lot of challenges because people always think she is hopeless all because she studied agriculture. She believes youth can play many roles in the actualization of the program, but what matters most is their determination.
Oni , a graduate of water resources management, said the program is a good platform to learn. He believes that youth needs to be re-oriented and start to see agriculture from a different perspective, and then the orientation should start from the grassroots; seminars should be carried out at primary schools, secondary schools, at the tertiary institutions, even at market places.
Samuel , a graduate of Biochemistry said the Youth Initiative is a timely one particularly when things are turning down in the economy of African Countries. The fear of where to go next, seeking job would have been answered in a long run-in a long way, but with the advent of the initiative, it’s wonderful and everyone can attest to it that it’s a timely one. He believes youth can make the program a reality if they voice out on certain issues and areas that actually concern them especially on agriculture. Also, youth must show interest as this will make the program a successful one.
To conclude, I will not forget to add the words of the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina: “Mindset is like the ruler of a ship, what you set is where you go. Young people need to see agriculture differently apart from what it used to be, by so doing, agribusiness can be actualized.”
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Blogpost by Funmilayo Oyesiji, IYA member and a social media reporter for the #YADI14