Agriculture experts from Federal Government and six benefiting states in the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) value chain programme, converged on Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital to find workable suggestions on how best to improve the programme.
At the event held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in the state capital, participants suggested a paradigm shift in the way agriculture was being practiced with old farm population to involve adequate youth participation.
Seventy per cent youth involvement is being targeted in the six benefiting states to ensure the sustainability of the programme, especially in rice and cassava value chain.
Speaking at the event, the Director of Agriculture in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Salisu Hammed, who represented the Minister of Agriculture emphasised the need for establishing entrepreneurship skill in the youths to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Oladapo Odeyemi, also highlighted some of the steps being taken by the state government in establishing entrepreneurship skill in the youths.
Beyond this rhetoric, it is suggested that the best practices in the agriculture sector must be embraced if the country must match up its food production with its ever increasing population.
Six states – Ogun, Anambra, Ebonyi, Niger, Benue and Taraba – are currently benefiting from the Federal Government and IFAD value chain programme, aimed at ensuring food security and abundance and the diversification of the economy.