The former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and IITA’s goodwill Ambassador, His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has reiterated his commitment to work with IITA to expand the youth in agribusiness initiatives.
Chief Obasanjo stated this during IITA’s visit to his office in Abeokuta as a follow-up on the recommended action points during his participation at the Agribusiness Investment forum organized in June 2023.
Highlighting the issues, Chief Obasanjo mentioned that society glamorizes trivial matters while the value of agriculture is overlooked. He stressed the urgent need to provide compelling reasons for young people to embrace agribusiness. This encompasses showcasing the advantages of modern equipment, efficient production, and cutting-edge technology. He emphasized that it is crucial to view agriculture as a business rather than a development concern.
To achieve this, he suggested that IITA should organize a workshop involving high-level stakeholders and youth representatives in view of setting up an agribusiness investment fund. The objective of this workshop would be to know and explore how to make agriculture attractive to the youth. The workshop will provide insight into what the youth want to engage in agriculture fully, how they want it, and what they have to offer.
He also emphasized the importance of considering small-scale farmers in any initiative promoting agricultural industrialization, food security, and sustainability in Africa.
“We need to know what the youth really need, and I will advise you to gather 15 or so people to channel a way forward. They need to be involved in this discussion. Also, policymakers and other stakeholders who will make the vision achievable,” he stated.