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May 21, 2024

‘Youth Engagement in Agriculture Offers Immediate Benefits’ –  Food Systems Expert

Engagement in agriculture offers immediate, medium-term, and long-term benefits that encompass job creation, increased food production, food security, poverty reduction, and sustained economic growth. 

The United Nations Food System Summit Country Cohort Youth Lead, Azeez Salawu stated this while speaking with AgroNigeria during an interview. 

According to him, the advantages of youth participation in agriculture underscore the critical role of young individuals in shaping the future of agriculture and ensuring a more resilient and prosperous agricultural sector.

He added that promoting agricultural entrepreneurship among young people requires a strategic approach that addresses the unique challenges they may face. 

Meanwhile, he noted that the impacts of climate change on food security requires a multifaceted approach, including the promotion of climate-resilient agricultural practices.

He said: “Farmers should be educated and supported in adopting techniques that can withstand changing climate conditions, such as drought-tolerant crop varieties and sustainable farming methods. Improving water management is crucial, especially in areas facing water scarcity due to climate change. 

“Encouraging efficient irrigation methods and rainwater harvesting can help optimize water use in agriculture.”

He added that provision of information on early warning systems for extreme weather events,  disaster preparedness strategies, capacity building and training for farmers are also essential for timely response to mitigate the impact of climate change. “

Speaking further he made it known that Government policies are instrumental in ensuring food security. 

He therefore tasked the federal government to  prioritise supporting small-scale farmers by providing facilities such as land credit, and modern agricultural technology  in order to increase productivity and contribute to food security.

The youth lead also called for investment  in rural infrastructure as one of the  roles of government policy, including building of roads, provision of storage facilities, and irrigation systems to enhance agricultural productivity in remote areas. 

Azeez said effective government policy is one that comprehensively addresses the challenges of ensuring access to safe and nutritious food, and creation of fair pricing mechanisms for agricultural products.

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