WE MUST MAKE AGRIC INTERESTING TO YOUTHS – JAMODU
The Wealth Is Here Campaign has been launched, to engage youths in agriculture and turn their creative ideas to successful agribusiness enterprises.
The objective of the campaign, launched in Lagos, by the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF), is to change the mindset of Nigerians that they can excel in Nigeria, by exposing them to Agric-perineurial opportunities and providing them access to finance and markets to enable young people to establish viable business enterprises.
Part of the program, is the Farmers for the Future (F4F) initiative, aimed at giving young people the opportunity to access funds for viable agricultural enterprises.
Chairman, Board of Directors, BATNF, Chief Kola Jamodu, who said the campaign had youths and agriculture as its core, decried that in spite of all the programnes by governments, especially the Economic Recovery Growth Plan; Nigeria is still the largest importer of agricultural produce.
“Although our agriculture sector is the highest employer of labour, it is not the highest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for many reasons.
“On one hand, there are predominantly elderly and uninformed smallholder farmers in the field who live in rural communities. On the other is their level of education, their ability to accept and adapt good agricultural practices for high yields, climate change resilience and optimum profits.”
On his part, the Managing Director of BAT Nigeria, Yarub Al-Bahrani said Nigerians need to change the narrative that the county has little to offer the youth because “our story of wealth and prosperity will be impossible without the active participation of young people who represent 70 per cent of the population.
“The wealth is here campaign is an initiative to change the narrative and to rewrite our story. The campaign is about providing hope and most importantly, to create multipliers in the economy for inclusive growth and shared prosperity.”
Executive Director, BATNF, Ms Abimbola Okoya said the campaign was as a result of the exposure of desperate and increasing migration of youths out of Nigeria by the Cable News Network (CNN) during the wake of the “Libyan Slavery.”
She said: “Agriculture is the largest employer of labour and one of the fasted ways to build an army of prosperous people. There are opportunities to thrive in the sector and through the wealth is here campaign initiative, BATNF will expose young people to entrepreneurial opportunities.