At least 800 ex-agitators will be empowered in agriculture and aquaculture in Akwa Ibom state. The Coordinator Presidential Amnesty Office Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh said the move was part of efforts under the Presidential Amnesty Programme to make agriculture attractive to Niger Delta youths.
“There is a lot of concern about engaging youths in agriculture in many ways.
“Young people are not very much interested in continuing in agriculture because they don’t see much prospect in the future of agriculture.
“They don’t see it is as an active profession in the long-run, and many of the small scale farmers are quite aged,” he noted.
The coordinator noted that the situation could be reversed if young people were educated in agriculture, given a voice at policy level and in the media, and engaged with innovations.
According to him, adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is critical to making agriculture more attractive and interesting to young people.
He said the Amnesty Office had a strong programme of supporting youths to embrace agricultural value chains by training and giving them opportunities to access relevant ICT.
Boroh, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, noted that farming offers the young generation a chance to make a difference by growing enough food to feed the world.
“The younger generation can help introduce new technologies while also learning from traditional methods.
“They hold the potential to offer the perfect fusion of new and traditional solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.
“As we look to find solutions to feeding a world of nine billion people by 2050, it is this new generation that will be working together and can help to achieve global development,” he said.
He advised other stakeholders, especially state and local governments, to come up with policies and programmes to encourage youth participation in agriculture.
Boroh emphasised that engaging youth in agriculture was the way to go for the country, saying that it should be practicable rather theoretical.