Agriculturist advises unemployed youths to engage in farming
Economically displaced persons in the cities have been urged to see farming as an activity that could help them stabilise in no distant time.
Mr Amaechi Ojukwu, Chief Executive Officer of PAO Farms and Food Processing Company Limited, Ekwulummiri in Nnewi South Council Area of Anambra gave the advice while interacting with newsmen last week
Ojukwu said farming guaranteed food supply for the individual and members of his family with high chances of earning income for surplus produce.
He said the Corona Virus pandemic which had hit Nigeria since February had worsened food supply as the nation’s international borders had been closed to importation of food items.
Ojukwu, a Lagos based businessman said he went into farming because of because he understood that there was deficit in food production in Nigeria judging from the amount of money that is spent on imported food items and for the passion he had.
He said a large chunk of urban population had lost their job and were increasing the number of urban poor but have refused to return to farming because of ignorance or pride.
“I am a businessman in Lagos, as a matter of fact, I still have business there but here I am doing farming.
“We have a vast mass of land that are not being cultivated, if fully employed the arable in the South East alone can feed the entire nation and there will still be surplus to export out of the country.
“PAO is into crop and livestock farming, the improves seedlings guarantees regular harvest and the market is there, people need food items which are very expensive because of shortage in supply.
“I want encourage my people who are idle, wasting their time in the cities to come and take farming as a business, it is a noble occupation and the best way to fight poverty and hunger,” he said.
Ojukwu said farmers needed financial and technical support to enable them maximise the productive potentials.
He also called for more investment in agro input in the South East to enable farmers have access to cheap and available allied products needed for high yield farming.
“We need money, we need quality seedlings, cheap and quality herbicides, insecticides and fertiliser to enhance our productivity.
“We also need to protect our farms from the activities of herdsmen who cows destroy peoples farmlands because of the huge investment involved and its effect on produce quantity,” he said.