Every year, the International Youth Day celebration sheds light on the remarkable potential and responsibilities of young people. To commemorate this special day, IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) hosted a conference aimed at enlightening young minds about the significance of adopting green skills for a more sustainable and eco-friendly future, alluding to the United Nations (UN) theme: Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World.
The event, aimed at highlighting the crucial role that young people play in creating an environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly future, started with an informative documentary that showcased the insights and experiences of the young. The documentary shared innovative concepts and strategies capable of reshaping the agricultural landscape. One such concept was the production of soymilk from biofortified soybean grains, not only adding value to agricultural products but also offering a healthier choice for consumers. Another notable concept highlighted in the documentary was the use of black flies in the production of fish feed. This sustainable method not only reduces feeding costs but also tackles waste management issues and fosters a circular economy.
The event featured inspiring stories, including that of Mr. Michael Akinbiyi, who attributed his transformation to his training in renewable energy at the Archdam Solar Academy, organised by the IFAD Agrihub Project. He said the training gave him essential skills to harness renewable energy effectively. Mr. John Olabisi Amole talked about his enlightening journey of utilizing black soldier fly larvae as a cost-effective solution for animal feed. The panel session exposed participants to how incorporating renewable energy into farming operations can amplify productivity, efficiency, and sustainability, which will not only promote food security but also spawn employment opportunities and propel economic growth.
The event left an indelible impact on participants, instilling a drive to explore green skills and contribute to a more sustainable future. It emphasised the critical role of research in advancing agriculture, particularly among the youth, and demonstrated the immense potential of agribusiness to foster national security and economic growth. For a more sustainable and prosperous future for Nigeria and the world, the event culminated with a call to action encouraging more young people to explore the incredible opportunities in agriculture.