The executive director of 151, and organiser of the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit for Agricultural Advancement (YESAAR) and Agriculture Expo, Mr Henry Anario, has said that with the dwindling crude oil income Nigeria is experiencing, it has become necessary for Nigerians, particularly the youth, to be involved in agriculture.
Speaking with journalists at the event held in Abuja recently , Anario said that YESAAR is an initiative developed to attract and empower the youths to sustainably involve in agriculture.
‘‘We have taken it upon ourselves as a national developmental initiative to attract and empower the youths,’’ he said.
He also disclosed 80 agricultural companies participated in the maiden edition of the 2016 event which showcased products from both international and local companies involved in agro-machinery, livestock management and agro-chemicals.
Speaking on the challenges hindering youth participation in agriculture, he said, “It is tedious, unattractive, not profitable and difficult to get into as a result of the difficulty in accessing land, finances and technology. So we came back up with YESAAR to help guide them in that direction through research based training. We have experts who would provide trainings in the area of agriculture machinery, agrochemicals, green housing, which is popular and growing in Nigeria, and biotechnology.
Noting that YESAAR is a national programme, he said, “The initiative aims to train 3,000 youth across the six geopolitical zones as soon as we are able to get better funding.”
He revealed that “the maiden edition was able to train 50 participants from the ages of 18-45 years with funding support from the Union Bank, Syngenta and Bank of Industry (BOI). We are looking forward to getting more from Indorama” He said.
“Participants are drawn from rural youths aiming to start business in agriculture as well as corporate organization’s looking to invest or shift into agriculture” he said.