As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to marl this year’s International Youth Day, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja, has called on youth to embrace agriculture as a means of building a strong economic base, thereby improving their socio-economic status.
The group made the call during a press conference as part of activities to commemorate 2021 International Youth Day tagged: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health,” Thursday in Abuja.
Addressing the conference, the President and Founder of the Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, noted that meaningful success would not be achieved in the agricultural sub-sector without the meaningful participation of young people.
Dr Ahamdu, who stated that the youth constitute a larger proportion of the country’s population of the country, called on government at all levels to engage the youth in productive ventures that would enhance their capacities to earn meaningful income.
She used the occasion to stress the importance of working towards more equitable food systems, just as she highlighted the need for youth to make informed decisions on food choices through increasing global education on the healthiest and most sustainable options for both individuals and the environment.
“To me, this is very significant because I see today’s youth as a more empowered generation than ours. Today, the youths have the laws on their side, you can influence policy, you can march through the streets, you can also start businesses and employ one another and you can apply for funding.
“The International Youth Day really needs to represent something bigger than acknowledging the youth population and then moving on. It needs to represent more than that. The International Youth Day should not be celebrated just to keep memories.
“The day is to acknowledge current realities and the struggles youth face at our various communities, states and national level,” she further stressed. Ahmadu, therefore, called on government at all levels to equip the youth in farm inputs with a view to addressing poverty reduction; social inclusion, biodiversity conservation and increase productivity.
She revealed that the Foundation, in collaboration with North Central Youth Council of Nigeria, was organising a zoom conference to mark the 2021 International Youth Day to highlight some of the challenges faced by tbe youth in the agriculture sector.