Mr Oyewole Oyewunmi, Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, on Sunday urged youths to engage in agriculture as it had huge potential for economic growth, employment and wealth creation.
Oyewunmi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that youths in the country represented the most active segment of the population and the engine room of the country`s productivity.
“We need to explore ways to see how we can develop the agriculture value chain within the states in terms of production, processing, storage and so many more.
“It is so obvious now that that is the way to go.
“Farming is no longer just a development project that is left entirely in the hands of governments.
“It has become a big business such that rather than having subsistence farmers what we have now are those called `Agricpreneurs`.
“Farming and agriculture largely is an investment opportunity where returns these days are really very high if it is properly managed,’’ he told NAN.
“So, we need to intensify efforts to sensitise our people to that reality, especially the youth.
“We need to let them know that the fact that you are a farmer does not mean you are a poor man. Gone are those days of the back-breaking work that they do.
“’Farming has become mechanised and has become scientific and the Information Technology (IT) input in it is also very high.
“And I encourage our youths to look in that direction for their own benefits.’’
Oyewunmi urged government at all levels to make concerted efforts to change the orientation of the youths about farming.
According to him, with the current economic challenges, the government should accord agriculture its rightful place by strengthening the drive to make agricultural production the power house of national development.