NASFAT wants youth to engage in agriculture


NASFAT Youth Wing, Zone One has charged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment, policies and programs that would engage more youth in agriculture.

They noted that engagement of young persons is paramount in the agriculture sector, as prices of foodstuffs ceaselessly increase amid poor economic resource.

The group joined other youths across the globe to celebrate 2021 World Youth Day themed ‘Transforming Food Systems; Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health’

Speaking during the 3-Day program to commemorate the day, the Coordinator of NASFAT Youth Zone One, Olowu Adewale Quwam said to enhance youth potentials, government must provide an enabling environment.

“ To ensure youths are empowered, NASFAT has acquired over 100,000 hectares of land at Okija in Ondo State for agricultural projects.

“I encourage youths to embrace the opportunity. To participate on the project during farming period, three plots of land will be leased out for N31, 000. “

He urged governments to support the youth by subsidising merchanised farming in the country.
“Farm products are quiet expensive in the country now. Plot of land, fertilizers, seedling, feeds and others, are quiet expensive for today’s youths.”

The General Secretary, NASFAT, Alhaji Gbenga Sumonu, said that youths should be empowered, strengthened, educated and expose to be agents of change for Nigeria and the entire world.

“There are opportunities that are potentially inherent in agriculture and the youths should take advantage of this so that they will be able to control the economy of the nation.”

Chairman youth advisory committee Badmus Olayinka Kamaldeen advised the youth to take the bull by the horn, as whatever they do today will definitely be what they will fall back on in the future.

He urged other Muslim organisations to endeavour to mobilise and sensitise youths on the significance of agriculture to the society.

Assistant Lecturer University of Lagos, Dept. of Education Management, Faculty of Education, AbdulHakeem Qasim, said Nigeria still has potentials to be food secure if the right measures are adopted and implemented.

“The issue of food scarcity is occasioned by different activities of mankind as well as some natural phenomena, which has affected the food production system generally. And if not checked on time, it would worsen the poverty in the country and increase insecurity.

“We all have to come together, it is everybody business, including government. The government really needs to do a lot especially in addressing the issue of insecurity. You want farmers to go to farm but there is no security, they go to the farm and bandits, herders, kill them”, he said.

He noted that there is need to enlist the cooperation and support of the youth. “Apart from the fact that the youth form sizeable portion of the world population, they also are the people that we considered as the active population. So, they form the bulk of the active population of any nation or even the whole world.

“ If the interest of the youth is not in agriculture, it will be difficult to achieve food surplus. If we don’t address the issue of food shortage, we will not be able to achieve the issue of poverty alleviation and insecurity.

“ The issue of insecurity is closely tied to unemployment and who are the bulk of people that are unemployed? The youth. So, if they are not gainfully employed, we will continue to battle with hunger, poverty and insecurity. “

He added that Islam encourages agriculture as a profession, noting that there are some key professions emphasised and encouraged by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself.

“One of them is agriculture, another one is teaching and the other is medicine. The Prophet (SAW) said the best of what a man eats is the one that comes from his sweat and Prophet Dawood is one of the best because he eats from what he cultivate.
He condemned Muslims who stay idle, hiding under spirituality.

“Agriculture in Islam is a communal obligation, if there is no one on the field then all of us are sinners; that is the position of Islam under Sharia. Our religious leaders need to encourage our youths to be involved in agriculture; the idea of sitting idle at home or getting married with no profession is ignorance. They need reorientation and religious leaders really need to do a lot in this sense.

By Shakirah Adunola

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