Tunde Bolaji – Minna
An agricultural expert has advised governments at all levels to commercialise and modernise agriculture as part of efforts to sustain agricultural productivity in the country.
According to the agricultural expert that was the only factor that can transform Nigeria’s economy and end youths migration from Rural to Urban areas.
Dr. Hosaena Ghebru, a resource person therefore called on youths and farmers in the country not to migrate, nothing that “if there is constant migration from rural to urban areas, the actualisation of agriculture may not be actualised.”
The Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project (FtF NAPP) is funded by USAID-Nigeria and jointly implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)’s Nigeria Strategy Support Program (NSSP) and Michigan State University (MSU).
Speaking on the role of ‘Land Access in Youth Migration and Youth Employment Decisions’, at the Niger state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Minna, Ghebru who is a Research Fellow at IFPRI, said “modernization and commercialization is like killing two birds with one stone.”
According to him “we are trying to understand if youth migration would affect agriculture in the land, because if there is constant migration of youths from rural to urban areas, the actualisation of agriculture may not be actualised.
He said land access may be one of the decisive factors, but that the interest to go into farming is keen for the youth to compare agriculture as a model and as a business or as the traditional way of agriculture which is very key to their choices.
Furthermore, Dr. Ghebru said “overall findings have shown that small amount of access to land would matter more as a decisive factor for migration or staying in agriculture if the youth is residing in the areas where agriculture is modernized and commercialised.
“I am saying this because, Modernising and commercialising agriculture will be like killing two birds with one stone. Not only will it transform the economy and help other smaller farmers but it will also serve as a platform to engage youths in agriculture that will help feed not only their families but as a business which could be a viable strategy.”
He however lamented that “because of political and socio-economic reasons many youths prefer to visit cities and neglecting their lands of inheritance for farming.
“If you want to use land to lure youths to participate in agriculture, then you have to ensure them of modernizing and commercialising agriculture which will help in sustainability and keep them from migrating massively.”
Speaking also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ibrahim Garba Musa charged youths in the country to embrace agriculture and see it as a viable business.
He added that “the state is looking at the issue of drudgery which is scaring the youths away from farming is being addressed. So, youths should not see their inability to access land as a factor because in Niger state, they can access land for agricultural purposes”.
He also assure that “the state government will not leave research findings on the shelf but will utilise them so as to move the state forward”.