From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has urged the youth to deepen their time and resources into agriculture, stressing that the success of food sufficiency in the country squarely lies in their hands.
Nanono stated this recently in Abuja while presenting a check of N30 million to about 20 housemates that participated in the maiden edition of the ‘Naija Farmer Reality TV Show’ as a grant to enable them start-up businesses, while the overall winner got N5 million.
Nanono explained that the event was organized to woo the youths into agriculture, which he said was a viable means for them to earn a decent living and boost the country’s economy.
Represented by the Director Animal Husbandry, Winnie Lai-Sholarin, he said government and financial institutions would always support the youth in the areas of lands, grants and marketing of their produce.
‘I would like to start this brief remark on the premise set by the honourable minister when he visited Naija Farmer House on Friday 21 January 2021.
‘You would recall that the honourable minister expressed profound joy on seeing the vibrant, enthusiasm and hope on the faces of the Naija Farmer Housemates, that have dedicated about three months of their youthful time to train, prone themselves and mould themselves into agropreneur.
‘Little wonder the minister was full of joy and hope for the bright future of Nigeria agriculture that he could see on your faces.
‘He is particularly happy and feels very blessed that the future of Nigeria agriculture is in the hands of young and vibrant agropreneurs who wouldn’t be seeing the kind of persons you have been for three months and indeed how you have carried yourselves.
‘He also asked me to reemphasize his support and that of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the Naija Farmer TV Reality Show.
‘And he calls on well-meaning Nigerians, ministries, departments and agencies to support this laudable agric-based reality TV show. I congratulate the housemates, CEO and the entire crew and encourage everyone to please sustain the tempo and enthusiasm even in the face of challenges that are common to project of this nature.
‘Like the honourable minister advised on Friday, he said that once you have set our hands on agriculture never look back or give up because success is sure for the resilient farmers,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Promoter of the show, Dr Ochigbo Emmanuel, added that the event would be yearly, stressing that more youth would be empowered to get the best out of agriculture.
Emmanuel maintained that growing population was enough reason for the government to expand its food base to accommodate citizens and export, adding that the continuation of the scheme would drastically reduce the number of unemployed youth and crime.