President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Nigerian youths to embrace ongoing agricultural opportunities as a way of improving their standards of living.
This was made known in a statement at Abuja by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu who said Buhari made the call at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officers of six American agricultural companies and their Nigerian counterparts in Washington DC.
The president noted that agriculture has supported the Nigerian economy and therefore, the youths have to play active roles in pushing its boundaries, while lamenting on the surge of youths in the country, with, “60 percent of the population below 30 years.”
Buhari further encouraged the youths to explore opportunities readily accessible in agriculture, as he said, “Agriculture is the future.” He stressed that planning in Nigeria must take into consideration the factors of climate and the increasing number of youth population.
Buhari also promised the support of his administration in the promotion of skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship among the young population.
He added, “We realized, rather belatedly that we ought to have been investing in agriculture. We are now aiming at food security because of our large population.
“Our youths, the ones who have gone to school and even those that have not, should go to the farm, to earn respect for themselves.
“Agriculture is providing jobs for millions of our citizens and we are doing well towards the attainment of food security and jobs.
“The media may not appreciate the work we are doing but we will shock them by the success we are recording.’’
President Buhari welcomed the several investment proposals being put in place by the Americans and their Nigerian counterparts.
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The statement revealed that among those (proposals) brought up for discussions were the three million tonnes of fertiliser by Dangote, the largest in Africa coming on stream in July.
It stated that this would be followed by another one to produce 1.4 million tonnes of the commodity; a large-scale modern seed production company, weed and pest management as well as chemical product companies by the Americans.
“Similarly, the Burger King food chain with plans to integrate local farmers in livestock production; the Heinz tomatoes production, with backward integration of Nigerian tomato farmers; and another company coming to set up a local branch to facilitate merchandising of commodities – in effect establishing a link between the Nigerian producers and the global market.
“A tractor manufacturing company, John Deer, also unfolded a plan for an assembly plant to produce 10,000 tractors in four years in Nigeria. They will all come with jobs for Nigerians,’’ the statement read.
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