Some agriculture stakeholders have called on the youth to go into agriculture to change the trend of the elderly farming.
At a one-day agriculture workshop on Enhancing Wealth Creation Across the Agriculture Value Chains, the stakeholders advised young people interested in agriculture to belong to cooperatives for easy access to funds.
The event was organised in Lagos by the Bank of Agriculture (BoA).
Mrs Idiat Folorunsho, Zonal Manager, South-West of the bank, said that there could be food scarcity in the next 15 years if the youth would not take to farming.
Folorunsho identified non-availability of modern farming equipment as a major reason for youths’ lack of interest in agriculture.
“There must be a change in the trend of the old still into farming; youths need to step-up because, in the next 15 years, we could have problems of food.
“We need them in the sector. Agriculture is a foreign exchange earner and a mainstay of the economy but inconsistencies in policies affects the development of the sector,” she said.
Folorunsho also said that basic infrastructure such as electricity, good roads and potable water were important to make farmers comfortable and reduce rural-urban migration.
She said that BoA would continue to take risks in agriculture credits.
In a paper she delivered, Mrs Abiodun Ayotunde, a Directior in the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, advised farmers to form cooperatives to facilitate access to the benefits in the agriculture value chains.
Ayotunde said that farmers should leverage on the numerous opportunities in the sector.
According to her, the state cooperative is worth over N100 billion with about 4,000 registered cooperatives and two million cooperators.
“Farmers should leverage on the opportunities in the agricultural value chains because it is a goldmine, ranging from production, processing, marketing, logistic and many others.
“Farmers should seize the opportunity of their number to drive change in government policies.
“Farmers would easily access agriculture funds if they are in clusters – cooperatives,” she said.
Mr Oyekunle Omidokun, Managing Director of Consolation Farms Ltd., spoke on “Wealth Creation in Poultry Value Chains’’, advising the youth to go into poultry to create wealth and contribute to national development