The Chief Executive Officer of American West African Agro Ltd, (AWAA), Mr. Jerry Cunningham, has called on the federal government of Nigeria to make maximum use of the great resources in National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) into farming to secure a food system in the country.
“Nigeria is a great country, one of the biggest resources I see in Nigeria is the NYSC, what did they do? They send them to government offices and some schools, sit down doing nothing, they should be sent to agriculture, the youths is the strength of a nation, that is how nations changes.
“If every NYSC member works in agric department, be involved in agriculture, the country will change within five years, youths may change, people may not change, so you have to hold on to the youths. The country has a beautiful NYSC programme, they are trustworthy, understanding, committed, hardworking. Get them out of the offices, give them orientation in farming and take them to the farms,” the CEO said.
Speaking to journalists at Afritropic Farming and Agro Service Ltd in Utagba-Unor community, Ndokwa west local government area of Delta state, a farm, where people are trained in agriculture, Cunningham stated: “Everyone thought south south has no land, nobody to farm, they lied, Delta state is amazing, the land, water, people and everything, there is need to have the knowhow, that is what is going to help you.
“We are here to tell the trainees what we are doing, and also show them what we are doing. We show them what to do, that is the practical aspect of it, than telling them what to do, that is what we teach them here, that is the big difference.”
Cunningham who is involved in training Ex- agitators from the Niger Delta region in agriculture under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, noted “Nigeria people are amazing, You have to learn how to live with the people, you have to understand the people, and they are willing to learn, Nigerians are very smart, they can do anything when they receive some guidance, they need practical, too many universities and too many this and that.”
He pointed out that mechanized farming is key to sustainable secured food system, youths should be oriented towards agriculture, saying that equipment for mechanization farming is very costly, local government, community, groups and clusters can come together to buy it for everyone use.
Also in agreement with what the CEO AWAA said, his partner, CEO, Afritropic Farming and Agro Service Ltd, Ebimoboere Eniyekpemi, opined that the way to go is mechanization, if we want to secure a food system in the country, mechanization is the answer.
Eniyekpemi added: “Unlike the days you band them in the farm with our hands, we can only produce little food to sustain our families and not going nationwide, we still end up importing, but if we can produce in a mechanized way, we need few manpower with machines, it will be more efficient, you produce more food.
“Farming thousands of hectares, you will not feel it because, you know, you are using machines to do that. People don’t want to go into farming because they see it as a suffer man business due to the stress and sun, but with proper and adequate orientation, people will be interested in farming business.”