by Isi Esene
Agriculture was put in the spotlight in this week’s Rubbin’ Minds. This is one sector which holds tremendous potential for unlocking job opportunities in the country and economic growth but, yet, undermined.
The sector, which grew exponentially in the 60s, lost its allure, especially to young people, after the discovery of crude oil.
The programme, which aired on Channels Television, was anchored by Ferdinand Adimefe, and the panel of discussant were made up of Mosunmola Umoru, CEO, HoneySuckles Ptl.; Mezuo Nwuneli, CEO, ACCA Foods; Segun Adewunmi, national president, Cassava Growers Association, and Ifenyinwa Uramah, founder, The Green Generation.
Adewunmi and Umoru started by commending the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for putting issues of agriculture on the front-burner of his transformation agenda. It also commented on his promotion of cassava and its derivatives as a laudable initiative which ought to be supported.
Adewunmi, who is the national president of the CGA, continued by stating that land has been made available in various parts of the country by the association for farming and there are plans to get tractors which would be used by farmers to cultivate the land.
He said, “From a personal stand point, it’s a business opportunity that makes sense.”
Mezuo Nwuneli explained the importance of cassava and all the useful derivative components that can be extracted from it.
He called for the participation of the private sector in further driving the government initiative which he believes can tackle the problem of food insecurity in the nation.
Umoru agreed that there are challenges in starting an agricultural business but, according to her, the benefits far outweigh the problems as long as effective synergies are formed.
“I think what important is for young people who want to go into agriculture to show interest and group themselves.”
The discussants urged youths not to wait for the ‘right time’ to make an entry into agricultural business because the right time is now.