UNFPA boss urges Nigeria to invest more on value-added agriculture to create more jobs

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Abuja- Prof. Babatunde Oshotimehin, the Executive Director, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), has urged Nigeria to invest more on value-added agriculture in order to create more jobs in the country.

Oshotimehin made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

According to him, there is the need to add value to agricultural processes and produce.

The UNFPA boss explained that the routine practice of just harvesting agricultural products for immediate consumption would not reduce the burden of unemployment.

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“Job creation is very important, and this current administration has jobs, jobs, jobs as one of the things they want to do, but you know we have to be very practical about it.

“What I see as probably the first entry point to this is developing agriculture.

“Agriculture is something all of us can be part of, now I am not just talking about going to the farm every growing season and getting the seeds out of it, but I am saying you develop agriculture and add value to agriculture.

“Why shouldn’t we be the ones that grow the rice that we eat, we can grow rice in this country; and not just grow it, but thresh it and bag it and sell it and make it available to all of us.

“Why shouldn’t we have orchards that grow oranges, but don’t just grow the oranges, but grow the oranges, squeeze it and pasteurize it and bag it and sell it.

“That is really where we should be going and if you do that you create jobs at every level not just on the farm but even in the management of the process of value addition.’’