NCAM canvasses resuscitation of farm settlements for job creation
The Executive Director of the National Centre for National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM), Ilorin, Dr Yomi Kasali, canvassed prompt resuscitation of farm settlements in Nigeria to boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the agricultural sector.
Kasali, who bemoaned the high rate of unemployment among the youths, said agriculture, when given the right attention, could serve as the highest employer of labour of the Nigerian youths.
He spoke in Ilorin during the empowerment training for youths and women on mechanized agri-businesses, jointly facilitated by the Federal Government and Senator Theophilus Orji (Abia Central).
“Nigeria as a nation has 70 percent population of youths and no one can waive aside such a huge population. Besides, agriculture, which has merely dropped to about 28 per of the GDP at present, used to form about 70 percent of the GDP before the advent of petroleum.
“The white collar job is no longer available in Nigeria. Therefore, the right thing is for us to re-visit our farm settlements across the nation. If need be, we can even build more of such. Let there be enough social amenities there for the youths and I am sure they would not rush to town looking for social infrastructure.”
He disclosed that cassava alone could engender about 20 factories as the root crop could form 20 varieties of food derivatives and other consumables, such as chips, gari, flour, starch and many more.
Describing NCAM as the only agric engineering institute in sub Saharan African, Kasali said the centre had produced numerous agricultural machines and tools for the needs of Nigerian farmers towards eradicating drudgery in the nation’s agricultural sector.
The representative of the facilitator, Deacon Ahamefula Orji, a Special Assistant (Road -Maintenance) to the Governor of Abia State, advised the trainees to transfer the acquired skills to their colleagues for the betterment of their state and the nation at large.
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