An agriculturist, Samuel Ishola, has called on the Federal Government to provide jobs and other incentives to all agricultural science graduates to promote interest in the course.
Ishola, who made the call in Ilorin on Tuesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said government has a role to play in developing passion for agriculture among students.
He said if the government was determined to diversify the economy from oil to agriculture, it must start from schools and institutions.
Ishola, a fish farmer, also advised government to establish farm settlements that would accommodate fresh graduates and allow them to put the knowledge gained into practice.
“There is need for students studying agriculture to be gainfully employed by the government; there should indeed be automatic employment offer for them.
“If the government can do that, it will motivate others to have passion for the course and that will really help in boosting Nigerian economy.
“Food is very important for survival of any nation.
“ The government must encourage farmers by making loan facilities available to them as well as an assurance of employment for students aspiring to venture into agriculture practice,” he said.
He also urged government at all levels to treat farmers as well as graduates of agriculture with dignity so as to boost their passion for food production.
“If we can have abundant food, there is hope for the nation as we will have enough to consume and also export to earn foreign exchange, ” he added.