(By George Onyejiuwa – OWERRI)
Igbo Youths have been advised to embrace farming to survive the current economic recession that has brought in its wake increased unemployment, poverty and hardship.
Chairman of the Imo State capacity building committee of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Chijioke Uchegbu, who gave the advise yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, noted that it is only through agriculture that the endemic unemployment and poverty in the country could be tackled.
This was even as he called on Nigerian leadership to prioritize agriculture in its efforts at mitigating the adverse effects of the present economic downturn, charging government at various levels to expedite policies capable of encouraging youths to embrace practical farming.
Uchegbu, lamenting the state of the nation’s economy and its adverse effects on the general population, especially youths of the south east, described agriculture as the only realistic alternative to the nation’s dependence on crude oil and white collar city jobs.
“I can confidently tell you that starting fishery or piggery business with little money can give you back three times the money you spent within months. This is because the demand for fish in Nigeria is getting higher by the day and fish farmers in Nigeria don’t even produce enough.
“As I’m talking to you now, our farmers don’t even produce up to 35 percent of the fish required in Nigeria and that is to tell you that over 65 percent of fish eaten in Nigeria are still imported.
“Again, the insecurity situation in the North Eastern part of the country has affected fish production from Baga in Borno State and as a result, traders no longer bring fish from the north down here. This gross void is the reason our Igbo boys should take advantage of the situation by going into farming so that we will create massive employment for ourselves and stop this over-dependence on handouts from politicians. It is also the same situation with piggery where little investment yields back massive returns because pigs have high fecundity rate. So, embracing farming will definitely help us the Igbo youths fight redundancy and stay afloat in this present challenge.”