A staff of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Mr John Obaniyi has declared that the only panacea to youth unemployment in Nigeria and other African countries is agriculture.
Mr Obaniyi made the declaration in his lecture to the 2021 Batch ‘A’ (Stream 1) corps members at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Ikare-Akoko.
Mr Obaniyi asserted that the best and only credible alternative that will make youths to be fully integrated and empowered is active involvement in agriculture.
In a lecture titled Empowering Nobel Agribusiness Led Employment and Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (ENABLE-TAAT), the Agricultural entrepreneur disclosed that the traditional ways of farming can no longer sustain the needed revolution in the agricultural sector.
While demonstrating the modern and technological ways agriculture and post-harvest marketing should be handled, he said those who are coming into agriculture should be passionate, committed and not expect quick returns on investment.
“It takes a lot of perseverance and commitment before you can smile to the banks. There are so many factors that you need to put into consideration and this is why TAAT has come to sensitise you on the best approach to adopt”.
“ENABLE-TAAT project is one of the 15 compacts comprising the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) through its youth in agribusiness initiative”.
According to him, the overall purpose of ENABLE-TAAT is ‘to assist in the promotion of TAAT’s key agricultural technologies, operate technology and innovation centres for young people on specific value chains, and stimulate youth-led agribusiness start-up in support of TAAT’s nine priority commodity chains’.
In his words, ‘the programme will expand agribusiness opportunities, provide agribusiness support, improve human nutrition and advance youth empowerment mechanisms’.
Mr Obaniyi opined that if Agribusiness Park is established, it will motivate many people to embrace agriculture, especially in Nigeria.
He assured members of the service corps that TAAT will soon be in Ondo State to provide professional and ancillary services to everyone and added that the organisation focuses on nine commodities which are beans, maize, sorghum, millet, rice, wheat, cassava, sweet potato and poultry.