The Enugu State Young Farmers’ Association (ENSYFA) has appealed to Enugu State Government initiate policies and programmes that will encourage the youths in the state to go into agriculture.
The President of the Association, Eze Kenneth Nnaemeka made the call when led members of the association on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mathew Idu.
Eze who disclosed that ENSYA’s vision was borne out of the passion to reduce poverty rate in Nigeria, through engagement in and promotion of agricultural activities, beginning from Enugu state said the association will partner the state government in its drive to guarantee food security.
According to him, with availability of arable lands, grants and credit facilities as well as availability of a ready market, the association will achieve its vision and mission.
“Our vision is two-fold: to make food readily available to ndi Enugu and beyond, and to curb the poverty rate by reducing the rate of unemployment in our dear State”. He said.
“To achieve our vision, we plan to encourage youths to go into farming by making it easier and interesting for them.
“Through contributions, we have secured a collective farmland of about thirty (30) plots of land at Ugwogo Nike community, for cultivation of corn, cassava, paw-paw, ginger and cucumber.
“So far, we have about one hundred (100) members on our online platform and twenty (20) registered members who are farming on our collective farmland”.
According to him, if the state government supports activities of the association, youths in the state would be eager to take to agriculture.
“Youths are the future of food security. Yet, around the world, few young people see a future for themselves in agriculture while majority of the youths decline agricultural opportunities”.
“Youths face many hurdles in trying to earn a livelihood. Pressure on securing arable land is high, making it difficult to start a farm.
“Youth often also lack access to credit facilities and many other productive resources necessary for agriculture. There is no sensitization or awareness on credit facilities and other incentives for agriculture. There is also little encouragement from the government, hence, the youths find themselves in such a dilemma”.
Responding, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mathew Idu said with the youths interest in Agriculture, food security is assured.
He said that the state government has a robust agricultural policy targeted at women and youths to encourage self-reliance and boost the economy of the state.
Idu assured the Association that their demands will be considered as their vision is in line with the state government 8 points agenda.