Join Buhari’s agrarian revolution, VON DG urges youths
Mr Osita Okechukwu, Director-General Voice of Nigeria (VON), has called on youths in the country to join the ongoing nationwide President Muhammadu Buhari’s agrarian revolution.
He noted that the Federal Government could not employ 10 percent of the teeming graduates looking for jobs in the country, adding that agriculture remained the way to go.
According to the VON boss, agriculture remains the mainstay of the country’s economy, the highest employer of labour and highest contributor to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“May I candidly appeal to our youths nationwide to join President Muhammadu Buhari’s agrarian revolution, especially now that we are entering the raining and farming season.
“Both the federal and state governments cannot employ up to 10 percent of millions of our unemployed graduates,’’ he said.
Responding to issues of prohibitive bank interest rate and collateral hindering access to funds for farming, Okechukwu said that the agrarian revolution had different segments.
Among the segments, he said, was the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which had no direct interest rate attached to small holder farmers.
He recalled that the programme was launched on Nov. 17, 2015 by President Buhari to create a new generation of farmers and link them with agro-processing companies.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in the Anchor Borrowers Programme, shielded the small holder farmers from prohibitive interest rate, thus deepening financial inclusion.’’ the VON DG explained.
He further explained that the CBN, in collaboration with some state governments, cleared farmlands, provide high yield seedlings and fertiliser, with farmers handing over farm produce to anchor companies off-taking the products after harvest.
Okechukwu informed the youth that the federal ministries of agriculture and water resources had invested heavily in irrigation and provision of farm inputs.
This, he added, was to mitigate the Small Holder Farmers to mechanised farmers through government’s recent irrigation of the Adanu/Omu farm belt of the state.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians, especially youths, to buy into the farming opportunities so as to benefit from the spread of prosperity, which the Buhari agrarian revolution was intended to achieve.
“The agrarian revolution involves rice, cassava, cocoa, palm oil, groundnuts, pepper, fishery, poultry and cattle ranching, among others” he said.
On the issue of farmers and herders clashes, which had prevented many farmers from going to farm in some parts of the country, Okechukwu said nobody was happy about the menace.
He added that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to address the situation.
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