Group offers cash, vehicle rewards to attract youths into agriculture

A non-governmental organisation, Global Youths Skills Acquisition and Poverty Eradication Organisation, is to splash about N10 million and a Sport Utility Vehicle on youths as a way to attract them into the agricultural programme of the Federal Government.

It said apart from agricultural training trips abroad, the youths would equally be provided with lands for agriculture, with 80 per cent profit incentive as part of the efforts.

Beneficiaries, however, have to emerge after a face of agriculture contest scheduled to hold this year.

Speaking to Abuja Xtra on behalf of the initiators, Ozegbe Emmanuel noted that the programme could help build agribusiness plans that could be adopted by people in local communities as well as the government to improve agriculture for vulnerable groups.

He further stated that the initiative would create greater opportunities for women and female youths to own properties and engage in commercial agricultural activities.

According to him, the group with the vision to promote economic stability of youths would, in addition, provide mechanised tools and improved seedlings up to a year for the winners.

He described the initiative as a mixture of agric and entertainment.

He said, “majority of agricultural policies and programmes formulated in Nigeria do not consider constraints confronting youths involved in agricultural development which include lack of interest in agriculture as a result of drudgery in farm operations, lack of competitive market for agricultural products, lack of start-up capital, inadequate labour-saving technologies for ease of operations and inadequate credit facilities among others.”

Also speaking, Dr Godswill Onyekwere said the initiative sought to create agricultural role models who would become agents of agricultural transformation.

He said, “over the years, it has become commonplace to hear the youths say that agriculture is for old people, it is a dirty job, it is meant for only senior citizens and so on, but Mr and Miss Agriculture Nigeria TV reality project has come to change the conventional ideology and instill the fact that agriculture is actually attractive and financially attractive.”