An Agribusiness expert with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, Mr. John Obaniyi has said that for the country to overcome its numerous challenges, it must go back to agriculture.
Mr. Obaniyi disclosed this when he spoke on ‘Agribusiness opportunities along value chain’ to the 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream II) corps members at NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Ikare Akoko.
He said that for the country to ‘remain green with envy’, everyone must go back to farming which according to him, technology has made easy.
“Gentlemen corps members, paid employment or investment in various sectors of the economy is profitable but if you really want to be at the top and remain relevant, any sector in the agric world is the best place to be”.
“The world population is growing in leaps and bounds on daily basis and everyone must eat. This is an indication that whatever you become in life whether, Engineers, Doctors, Communicators, Scientist, Teachers, Footballers, Captains of Industries and career Public Servants, you must eat good food every blessed day”.
The representative of the agriculture research institute said that opportunities abound in the value chain, starting with land preparation and cultivation, planting and farm management, harvesting, processing, marketing etc till it gets to the end-user.
“The world has gone digital and with the technology that has been made available by scientists, researchers, technologists, engineers and the allied professionals, the era of hoe and cutlass is gone for good”.
“You don’t need a background in any of the branches of agriculture before you can venture into either small, medium or large scale farming as agribusiness opportunities have made things easy and you will never be caught napping or unprepared”.
He announced that IITA in partnership with NYSC is training corps members in various fields on how they can embrace the value chain in the agribusiness to boost food production for local consumption as well as export finished products to enhance foreign exchange earning.
Mr. Obaniyi who is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering said that graduate youths mobilised for national service have what it takes to revolutionise the agricultural sector for optimal economic performance.
“Your various academic qualifications has placed you in a vantage position to come out successful in whatever you lay your hands on during and after the service year, and with the encouragement by way of training you are now receiving courtesy of a collaboration between NYSC and IITA, the country would be better for it”.
He hinted that the collaboration included but was not limited to training, consultancy services, marketing and implements and machinery support, and pleaded with the corps members not to allow the opportunity to slip out of their hands.