The United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon and Oniru of Iruland, Oba Wasiu OmogbolahanI have called on the Federal Government to empower youths in the area of agriculture.
They both made this call on Thursday at the Celebration of International Youth Day with the theme: ‘Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health’.
The event also marked the unveiling of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) at 60I in Lagos.
Kallon, who noted that transformation should transcend the country’s energy system, said that the Nigerian Youths are capable of revolutionizing the agricultural sector due to their innovation and creativity.
The Resident Coordinator explained that the climate challenge can be addressed by youths through food transformation, thereby urging that awareness should not just be based on youth issues, but encouraged to be partners in achieving a more sustainable future.
“It is not just our energy systems that need to be transformed but our food systems too. Young people in Nigeria can help revolutionize one of the nation’s largest employment sectors by bringing their innovation and creativity to bear on a system that needs to become sustainable and climate-friendly.
“Food system transformation is yet another way this generation can contribute to addressing the climate challenge.
“To succeed in combating climate change and achieving the SDGs, there must be inter-generational dialogue, understanding, and cooperation.
“On this International Youth Day, we must not just raise awareness of youth issues, but encourage this generation to become full partners in our efforts towards a more sustainable future,” Kallon added.
On his part, the Oniru of Iruland, said that unemployment and agricultural value chain would be improved upon if the Nigerian youths are empowered.
Oba Omogbolahan explained that accessing financial services by small holding farmers is still a challenge and should be worked upon by the necessary stakeholders.
He, however, stated that several start-ups are operating successfully across the federation as Nigerian youths offer digital innovation and solutions that cover produce, product and services within the agricultural value chain.
“In Nigeria today, the youths are offering digital innovation and solutions that cover produce, product and services within the agricultural value chain.
“There are several start-ups operating across the federation such as farm crowdy, pay farmer, and many more but they have the challenges of funding.
“If the smallholder farmers have access to financial services, the agricultural value chain will experience transformation.
“If the federal and government state government can empower the youths on agriculture, there would be an improvement in the value chain and unemployment will be reduced drastically,” Oniru said.
The Director-General of NIIA, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, who described Nigerian Youths as the foundation upon which the country is laid, said they need to be patriotic, nationalistic and have the love of the country at heart.
Prof. Osaghae noted that these are the critical elements to build the youths within the binding framework with national aspirations.
He also stated that the youths must recognize the speedy nature of the current world and must think out of the box to solve issues therein so as to show themselves to the world that they are not only adaptable but also innovative.
Source: Daily Independent