Rep. Ibrahim Olanrewaju, representing Moba/Ilejemeje/Ido-Osi Federal Constituency 2 at the House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation and boost automated farming to attract the youths.
“If the Federal Government is serious about creating employments through agriculture, then it must make farming attractive to the Nigerian youths.
“Government should at the same time increase budgetary allocations to the agricultural sector and then encourage modern mechanised farming.
“We cannot expect our youths to embrace farming if, they are going to use the same tools that were used by their grandfathers,” he said.
According to him, these are the people, whose parents sent to school because they want them to escape farming and if they now agree to embrace farming, they should be able to work with modern equipment.
“As a representative of the people, I am very concerned about this situation.
”Let’s face it, there is hunger in the land, there is unemployment, which is not acceptable to me as a leader, as a father and as a member of the society,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said he was disappointed at the attitude of the youth towards empowerment as many in his constituency applied for various empowerment items which he keyed into.
“But unfortunately, none of them has gone into farming, everybody just believe it’s a national cake and want to have their own share.
“All we need is to change our psyche, because it is an individual thing, we need to change our orientation and work seriously on our psyche which will have to start from somebody.
“Because if we are waiting for a day that all of us will have to sit down and say let’s change our psyche, it is never going to work, we must begin to change our orientation,’’ he said.
Olanrewaju noted that more youths going into agriculture would help in the pursuance of diversification of the economy by the Federal Government.
“If more youths take to land tilling, the quest of the country to be food sufficient and create more jobs opportunities will be achieved.
“With instability in the pricing of oil in international markets, there is need for the people and the country to place more emphasis on agriculture.
“Whether we admit it or not, oil is drying up, even if it is not, the cost of oil is going down every day. Agriculture holds the key to unlocking the potentials of the country.
“It will also make youths that forms the nucleus of our population self-sufficient and employers of labour if harnessed,” he stated.
The lawmaker urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the agricultural sector, provide more funds to eradicate unemployment and poverty among the youths.
He added that agricultural practice which still relied on traditional implements and annual rainfall was not profitable and could not encourage the youths to engage in farming.