FG to start agric reality show, as oil palm stakeholders lament challenges
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Startimes, Radio, Television, Theatre Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) and other stakeholders is to commence an agricultural reality show called NAIJA FARMER.
The Naija Farmer reality show is a youth empowerment project aimed at transforming unemployed Nigerian youths to employers of labour. The project, it is expected, would create over 1 million agribusiness owners within 10 years and by extension lift over 20 million youths out of poverty in the next decade.
All participants would receive seed capitals from Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and other financial institutions to establish small-scale agribusinesses after the extensive training on television.
The maiden edition of Naija Farmer reality show would include 21 housemates selected from the six geopolitical zones of the country at a located Naija Farmer House in Abuja.
It would be a 24-hour reality show on Channel 140 of Startimes Bouquet already being test run. The channel would, in addition, showcase a 24-hour reality entertainment and progress made in the agricultural sector.
MEANWILE, it has been bemoaned that in spite of palm oil being produced in 25 states, over $500 million goes yearly into its importation, restricting the country to the fifth producer globally.
Concerned that the potential of the oil palm sub-sector has not been sufficiently tapped, stakeholders in the oil palm sector identified some challenges within the sub-sector to include insufficient national and state budgetary allocations/ releases, weak and poorly articulated sub-sectoral governance structure, and weak implementation of inclusive policies.
The stakeholders, while making their submissions at a two-day workshop and policy dialogue organized by Solidaridad West Africa and attended by policy makers, staff of the legislature and key officials of front-line oil palm farmers organizations in the country, affirmed that although the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020, and the National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action for Climate Change in Nigeria (NASPA-CCN) might have proposed solutions to some of the core issues at the heart of limited food production, climate change and delivery of quality standards, they were yet to address the strategy towards agriculture-driven economy;