A Don, Prof. Kolawole Adebayo, on Tuesday decried the declining interest in agribusiness by Nigerian youths and the migration of seasoned local farmers abroad.
Adebayo, a Professor of Rural Development Communication at the Federal University of Agriculture, (FUNAAB), Abeokuta said this in an interview with Newsmen in Lagos.
The expert said lack of interest in agriculture by youths and the transmigration of local farmers did not augur well for food security in the country.
“As a nation, we have been privileged, that is why we have become lazy and complacent. Many of the younger generation are not looking at farming as an option.
“We have a number of people who have retired from one job or another and then embarked on farming in their villages as a retirement plan.
That is what is currently feeding us; we cannot continue to rely on that.
“So the future is bleak in terms of our food security because God has blessed us with oil, we keep importing almost everything.
“Even those who have the knowledge, many of them are migrating, Nigerians are now going abroad to do farm labour work.
Now that is telling us something that, those countries where they are going to will start exporting food to us and it is not going to be free,” Adebayo said.
He noted that there was, however, light at the end of the tunnel for the Nigerian agricultural sector, if Nigerians elect good leaders who would take the sector to its next level.
“Nigerians are very enterprising; soon, agriculture will become an opportunity rather than a challenge as it is presently.
If we elect good leaders, then it will not take long time to turn our agricultural fortune around, it just takes some commitment.
“In two or three years, we will begin to see good changes in the agriculture sector.“
The don said that with some glaring challenges in the nation agricultural sector, the entrepreneurial spirit in Nigerians would begin to stir up, adding that the people would face the problem headlong.
He advised aspiring young farmers to get training and to embark on feasibility study before commencing any agribusiness venture.
The reason why so many people fail in agribusiness is owing to lack of training and failure to discover a market niche for their produce.”
He urged young Nigerians trying to go into farming, especially those with agricultural training, to make good use of what they have learnt in school and apply it.
“For those without agricultural training but who see the sector as a business opportunity, I will say they should first get a rudimentary or practical training in whatever sector of agriculture they intend to go into.
“Secondly, doing feasibility study and market analysis on where to sell their produce is paramount to success in agribusiness.“
He also called on young agribusiness investors to do background preparations before starting the business to avoid disappointment.