The Africa Farming Project (AFP), an NGO, said on Wednesday that it would train two million youths to boost the Federal Government Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
Mr Bright Okwu, the National Coordinator of the organisation, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Okwu said that the organisation would collaborate with the Federal Government to transform the agricultural sector.
He said that the organisation would encourage youths to embrace agriculture in order to boost food production in the country.
Okwu said that the gesture was aimed at empowering the youth to reduce their involvement in political unrest.
According to him, if the the organisation trains the youths and the government empower them, there will be chain reaction in terms of productivity.
“If the government can come and empower this youths we are training and give them the technical service, those of them that have done so already you will discover that there would be chain reaction in terms of productivity.’’
He said that youths would be saved from being exposed to wrong ideology if the government engaged them meaningfully, particularly in agriculture.
Okwu said there were many areas which government could intervene to support the youths become useful to themselves and the society.
“If the government does not look inward by getting the youths back into farming, it is going to be very difficult to achieve agricultural success in this country.”
He noted that although some youths were interested in agriculture, they needed the support of the government.
He advised government to partner with credible organisations and NGOs to achieve the objective.
Okwu said that unemployment could be reduced to 50 per cent if two million youths could be trained and empowered to engage in agriculture
‘’Unemployment would reduce by 50 per cent and apart from that we also want to see how we can continue to fortify information network in agricultural industry.”
He explained that the NGO was established to rejuvenate the interest of the youths in agriculture by exposing them to the latest innovations that could improve farming practice.
“Africa Farming Project is a non-governmental organisation and we have three cardinal point of operation.
“We came into being when we discovered that the information network in agriculture in Nigeria is almost zero, so we came with innovations to get the farmers informed on the latest technology applicable all over the whole world.
“The second aspect of our programme is how to get the youths back to farming.
“The third aspect of the programme is the capacity building and promoting of some essential Nigerian agricultural crops and other parts of agriculture like the livestock, the processing aspect of it and also trying to get the research institutions closer to the farmers.
“These are some of the things that prompted the establishment of African Farming Project as a non-governmental organisation that have come to assist in developing Nigerian agriculture through information, capacity building and trying to see how the youths can go back to farming.’’
Okwu stressed the need for collaboration between the organisation and the Federal Government as well as with other relevant NGOs to supply information to youth farmers so as to enable them access current technology for improving production.