Netherlands, FG, others mull use of insects to boost agric output
The Netherlands, Ministry of Agriculture and experts in agribusiness have called for the use of insects to boost agricultural output and employment opportunities for the youth.
They made the call during the official kickoff of Insect4feed Impact Cluster, held at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) conference centre, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The programme was put together by NGN Impact With Insects; IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP); University of Ibadan; ProEnto; Quality Insects For Food and Feed Association of Nigeria, Feed calculator and Nigerian Breweries. It was funded by the Netherlands and Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
The Chief Executive Officer of IITA BIP, Dr. Frederick Schreurs, emphasised the need to create sustainable jobs for the youth in Africa. “We do this through incubation. We will create interaction with local knowledge and make sure we create jobs. We need to feed the population and make sure there is food for all. We need to build strategies.”
The Netherlands Vice-Consul, Economic Affairs, Mr. Abel Neering, said: “There are a lot of benefits in this project. It touches upon few topics, which are very important to us in the Netherlands and especially Nigeria such as agricultural development, youth entrepreneurship, youth employment and the economy. This project is going to bring all these things. By producing insects, jobs can be created for the youth. Also, insects are input materials for agriculture, livestock such as poultry, aquaculture and others. It can be cheaper. It will be environmentally more sustainable.”
Prof. Amos Omoloye of the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, who spoke on the theme: “The Role of Insects in the Circular Economy,” appreciated the people of the Netherlands for the support so far.
“The increasing trend of the world population raises the big questions on the capacity to produce and provide access to food and feed. Insects provide a veritable alternative. It provides sources of food for all and sundry. We need to embrace entomopreneurship. Insects are waiting for Nigerians to explore to arrest youth restiveness and support women.”
Representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Mrs. Omolara Oguntuyi-Abimbola said: “The Federal Government is interested in anything that will enable the youth to get employment.