By Richards Nzemeke
Port Harcourt – The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Rivers chapter says the state Ministry of Agriculture has trained over 5,000 youths in all aspects of agriculture between 2015 and 2018.
The Chairman of AFAN, Roland Brown told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that the youths were trained under the “School to Land” programme.
Brown said that at least 1,000 youths were trained each year during the period.
NAN reports that the School to Land agricultural programme was introduced by Mr Fidelis Oyakhilome, Rivers military governor in 1980s to create employment for Rivers Youths.
The chairman said that about N300, 000 to N500, 000 was disbursed to each trained youth as Start-Up fund pack after training.
Brown said that government’s policy determined the direction or focus of the youths.
“If there is money in agriculture, that is where the youths will go,” he said.
The ALFAN chairman recalled that the Federal Government had said agriculture was the way to go.
Brown said that investors local or foreign should be encouraged to invest in the processing of agricultural produce to increase their prices and improve the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He advised the Federal Government and state governments to make arrangements to buy up the produce during harvest and store.
According to him, it is one of the measures government can take to avoid market glut and achieve market price stabilisation.
The chairman recalled that prices of farm produce were more stable in 1960s when marketing boards were in existence.
The chairman said that nothing could discourage a farmer more that market glut and the consequent low price.