By Ikenna Uwadileke
The Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) on Tuesday in Abuja, appealed to youths to explore opportunities in the agricultural value chain to earn themselves a living.
The Chief Executive of the Institute, Dr Olufemi Oladunni, made the appeal at a workshop to train youths on `Agribusiness Opportunities in A Digital World’.
Oladunni expressed concern that some youths limited themselves to the production aspect of agriculture only, with less attention to other opportunities that thrived in the agricultural value chain.
He said that increased engagement of youths in agriculture was critical in enabling food security and ensuring job creation, wealth creation and poverty reduction among others.
According to Oladunni, agricultural value chain provided profitability to all the chain actors and supporters.
“Be it as a processor, aggregator, wholesaler, exporter or transporter; you can fit into any of these or combine them.
“Agriculture can be done in a digital world and youths are more digital now, so there is no reason why they should not be involved.
“Every array of the agricultural value chain can add value to the economy.
“You can integrate every subsector in agriculture into a single farm business whereby there is a chain linking them together to provide employment, generate income and build the economy,’’ he said.
While expressing concern over the consequences of insufficient number of youths in agriculture, Oladunni tasked them to demonstrate passion towards agriculture due to its comparative advantage.
“It can make you anything anybody from other sectors can be,’’ he said.
Oladunni pledged the institute’s commitment to provide youth with entrepreneurial skills crucial in empowering them to drive food sufficiency in the country.
According to him, if a person means business in agribusiness, he will not look for any other job.
“Within the agricultural landscape, there is a lot to explore. We need people who will make it a full-time business not part-time.
“You can sell inputs to farmers like seeds or agro chemicals; some people never worked for anyone and they are doing well in agriculture and agribusiness,’’ Oladunni said.
On his part, Mr Oladosun Abiodun, Head of Training at the institute, stressed the need for youths to become agribusiness investors critical in fighting poverty in the country.
Abiodun, in a session with the topic `Business and Employment Opportunities in Agricultural Value Chain’ tasked youths to lead in efforts to revolutionise the country’s agricultural sector by being part of the value chain.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Ms Obianu Uju, described the workshop as an eye-opener and apt.
Uju noted that the training would be useful and assured that they would be role models who would inspire other youths to invest in the agriculture sector.
She appealed to the Federal Government to ensure the involvement of more youths in its agriculture intervention programmes as a way of attracting and encouraging them in agriculture.
Mr Emmanuel Abuhson, a farmer, commended the institute for the workshop and described it as impactful.
“I thank ARMTI for the impactful workshop and for exposing us to the intricacies of profitable agribusiness as well as diverse opportunities we can explore,’’ Abuhson said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants were trained in the various agricultural value chain system and the role of digital marketing in agribusiness.