By Ruth Tene Natsa Abuja.
Young farmers on the platform of Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative yesterday launched the National Youth Manifesto on Agriculture for Nigeria.
CEO and Founder of the Initiative,Barr. Nkiruka Nnaemego said the Youth Manifesto developed in 2013 would be a national Blueprint to guide government and her partners on the felt needs and aspirations of Nigerian youth in agriculture.
The CEO stated this in her remarks at the 2nd African Youth Agric Festival on Agribusiness and United for Food Campaign hosted under the Initiative Youth Farm Project (Y-FARM),with the theme: Youth at the Centre of Business Revolution in Africa and Naija Jamz for Food respectively.
Barr. Nnaemego said “The Manifesto was developed in 2013 by our organisation with support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, OXFAM Nigeria, Voices for Food Security, Trust Africa as well as Youth and Farmers Organisations.
She said “The Y-Farm Project adopts a comprehensive and integrated approach that directly engages youths and different stakeholders in agriculture to promote multi-sectoral and inter-generational partnerships”.
She added that through the Project’s Y-Farm: My Swag Campaign’ Agriculture is being promoted as a fun activity,culture,career and business among rural and peri-urban youth across Africa,thus since inception of the project we have organised one National and one African Youth Agric Festivals. She however said due to dearth of Funds they could not host the festival in 2016 which explains the reasons for hosting the 2nd edition of both the National and African Regional Festivals.
The Young farmer said in line with their mandate of mainstreaming youth into agriculture revolution” We are joining OXFAM Nigeria and Voices for Food Security to advocate for active citizens voices on right to food and increased public investment in small scale agriculture under the #United4ood Campaign.
The young agropreneur however lamented that the Initiative is faced with 5 key challenges including Finance,Land and Technology , Products Registration, Training facilities and project vehicles for our community out reaches and boot-camps as well as mentoring and access to markets for our project beneficiaries
She added that in the next few months,they would be “partnering with OSIWA to implement the Y-Farm Project, Building a climate resilient generation to train 80 rural youth selected from Abuja, Enugu,Imo, Rivers,Kaduna, Anambra,Benue and Kogi states on Climate smart agriculture”
Also speaking, Director Extension Services, Hajia Karimatu Babangida represented by the assistant director, Mrs Mahmoud Sugra said apart from practicing agriculture as a business,the youths should step up as the opportunities in agriculture are endless.
She said” With the federal governments commitment to developing the nations youth in Agriculture,the Ministry had supported the Initiative with N5million Naira alongside 26 others.