The Federal Government has said that the lack of interest in agriculture is responsible for the rising unemployment among Nigerians.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Mahmood, said this during a training programme for 42 selected agriculture extension workers in Osun State, on extension tools, methodologies, and selected agricultural value chains.
The training is aimed at curbing the drift in the agriculture extension system and helping to revitalise the country’s economy.
The programme, which was facilitated by experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, exposed participants to modern techniques in planting and harvesting cash crops.
Represented by the Osun State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Sunday Atoyebi, the Minister pointed out that the decrease in funding of the agriculture extension system is one of the reasons for youth restiveness in the country.
He said the situation has affected food production thus “exposing the country to the dangers of unemployment, youth restiveness, and economic instability.”
Mahmood stated that training of extension agents in the state, among other strategies, would “halt the drift in the agriculture extension system and help to revitalise the country’s economy”.
He said, “Over the years, the fortunes of the agricultural extension system has declined majorly due to decreased funding, policy changes, reduced manpower, and lack of interest of young people in agricultural entrepreneurship.
“This situation has affected food production, exposing the country to the dangers of unemployment, youth restiveness, and economic instability.”
In his remarks Gbemisola Fayoyin, who is the Coordinating Director of the ministry, applauded the organisers of the programme and urged the participants to make the best use of the opportunity.