FG to attract youths into agriculture via mechanised farming – Minister

FG to attract youths into agriculture via mechanised farming – Minister

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says the Federal Government is working on plans to mechanise agriculture in order to make it more attractive to Nigerian youths.


Onu said this on Tuesday in Abuja when he received Mr Promise Amahah, the Director-General and National Coordinator of Nigerian Young Farmers Network, in his office.


The minister said that considering the significant youth population of the country, the involvement of youths in agriculture would guarantee food security, job creation and boost the country’s foreign exchange.


He stressed that the present administration had placed high premium on agriculture, as demonstrated by the massive attention given to rice production by President Muhammadu Buhari.


He said that the deployment of science, technology and innovation was crucial to the development of agriculture in Nigeria.


“Many aspects of farming are dependent on science and technology: from selection of seeds that are high-yielding to drought and pest resistant seeds,’’ he said.


Onu, however, bemoaned the menace of post-harvest losses in the country’s agricultural sector.


He pledged that his ministry would support the agricultural sector by deploying relevant technologies to ensure significant reduction in post-harvest losses so as to attain food security.


The minister said that agricultural produce was essential to the development of pharmaceuticals, adding that products like cassava provided starch, which was a major ingredient for the production of medicinal drugs.


Onu advised the group to continue to work as a team to achieve its objectives.


Earlier, Amahah told the minister that the visit was aimed at seeking a working relationship with the ministry in efforts to positively reposition agriculture in the country.


He said that the Network was a melting pot for key stakeholders and investors in the agricultural sector.


Amahah said that the group was striving towards developing a reliable and dependable database for agriculture in the country.


He said that the Network, which had over two million members across the country, was determined to drive and accelerate agricultural production in Nigeria.

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