By Felicia Imohimi
The Nigeria Young Farmers Network (NYFN) has urged government to effectively engage critical stakeholders in the implementation of the National Young Farmers Scheme recently inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Promise Amahah, Director – General (DG) of the network, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
NAN reports that the scheme was designed by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority to encourage the youth to take up farming.
Amahah said NYFN had been advocating for young people to embrace agriculture, adding that the network should be involved in every programme geared towards implementation of the scheme.
He commended Buhari for the inauguration but noted that the scheme remained a step in the right direction as long as political actors were not allowed to interfere with its objectives.
Amahah noted that the inauguration of the scheme was an indication that Buhari had a firm conviction and belief that agriculture held the key to unlocking the potentials of Nigeria.
The DG lamented that the network which had been drawing attention to deliberate and strategic youth engagement in agriculture through public enlightenment, education, equipment and engagement was left out of the inauguration.
“We pushed hard for such opportunities to be largely youth-led and enabled by the government.
“What we see on the contrary is a largely government led National Young Farmers Scheme and such possible deliberate oversight only worsened an already terrible distrust between the youth and government actors.
“Concerns about the security of farms nationwide, illiteracy and knowledge gap in modern agriculture techniques were also on the front burner of the responses to other genuine issues raised by young farmers,” Amahah said. (NAN)