The Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ondo state Akure, Dr. Samson Odedina, during a lecture described Nigeria as a potential agricultural powerhouse.
This lecture was titled “Agricultural value chain job opportunities: Success stories among youths in Nigeria”.
He made this statement during the investiture of the Award of Excellence in Food Sustainability, conferred on the Project Director, Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA), Prof Kolawole Adebayo by the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Ogun State Chapter.
He added that Nigeria could rake back over $11billion spent on importation of wheat, rice, sugar, and fish yearly. Agriculture could also provide 3.5 million jobs through the agricultural value chain, the Don said.
For example, in cassava, there are opportunities for stem production, weed control, root production, bulking agency, transport services, primary processing and product development like starch, flour, confectioneries, bread, beer, glue, and marketing. These opportunities also abound in other products like cocoa and fishery.
He lamented the decadent importation culture of the Nigerian economic system and the way it affects farming and heightens the unemployment rate.
According to him, “import dependency is hurting farmers, displacing local production and creating rising unemployment”.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Prof. Ololade Enikuomehin, commended the Nigerian Youth Council of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, for celebrating excellence and said the award would also motivate others to also follow the paths of Prof. Kolawole.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor added: “As a university, we believe in oneness. We believe in celebrating people that have made their mark and made it possible for others to be motivated”.
He urged Nigerian youths to devote and channel their energies at taking advantage of various opportunities that abound in the country. He enjoined them to get involved in productive acts which will benefit them in the long-run.