From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Nigeria will achieve self-sufficiency in food production if only 30 per cent of its population can engage in farming, according to Dr Olufemi Oladunni, Executive Director of the Agriculture and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) in Ilorin.
Dr Oladunni spoke on Tuesday during a training programme on agribusiness for members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The training programme formed part of activities marking the 2021 Press Week of the Correspondents Chapel.
The ARMTI executive director posited that mass farming by Nigerians, regardless of class, will also force down the skyrocketing food prices in the country.
He advised the government to encourage more Nigerians to go into farming by subsidising agricultural inputs and ensure that only qualitative and standard inputs are in the market for farmers to buy.
On the problem of insecurity, Dr Oladunni advised the government across the board to engage the restive youths in productive ventures such as agriculture and agribusinesses.
Dr Oladunni noted ARMTI has been engaging in the training of youths in various areas of agribusiness to make them not only self-employed but employers of labour.
He added that at the end of the training programmes, ARMTI also provided starters packs valued at N200,000 to each of the beneficiaries to enable them to start their own businesses.
He said the organisation has commenced the processes of opening regional offices in all the regions of the country with a view to bringing its services closer to all Nigerians.