From Cyriacus Nnaji, Lagos
Managing Director of Jumia Food, Guy Futi has said that agriculture is the ultimate solution to youth unemployment in Nigeria.
Futi stated this at a Food and Agriculture Roundtable held recently in Lagos.
The one-day event which had the theme: “Agriculture: the solution to youth unemployment in Nigeria and boosting Nigeria’s food security” was attended by stakeholders and experts in the country’s agricultural sector.
Futi in his presentation said that youths constitute more than half of the Nigerian population, adding that it is this important segment of the population who are unemployed.
“Agriculture can be the viable and pragmatic panacea to this ticking time bomb”, he said.
According to him, “Agriculture is one of the few sectors that can employ a large number of hands at the same time because the agricultural value chain is quite expansive. This chain is comprised of land, labour, water, technology, production, post-harvest handling, processing, storage and market.
There are lots of jobs each value chain is creating and with stakeholders in the industry embracing technology, 61.6% of Nigerian youths who are currently unemployed according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) would definitely have something to do, notwithstanding if they are skilled or unskilled.”
On how to encourage youths to take up agricultural jobs, Futi said that the sector has gone beyond the days of hoes and cutlasses.
“We must tackle this perception. Agriculture has embraced technology. It has gotten to the extent that you do not need to be a farmer before you invest in a farm and of course, you can now sit in the comfort of your home to order food. It is about the youths equipping themselves with the needed skills to take advantage of these jobs.”