By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Ensuring active participation of youth in the agricultural sector is essential for Nigeria to achieve sustainable farming, management of Nestle Nigeria PLC has said.
Nestle authority stated this while explaining the reason why the company is sustaining investment in the next generation of farmers.
“I’m excited at yet another opportunity to celebrate the next generation of farmers who will continue to feed our rapidly growing population, the entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow,” the company’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Wassim Elhusseini, said at a programme organized by his organization to promote youth participation in farming.
In a statement titled, “Nestle Golden Morn Sustains Investment in the Next Generation of Farmers,” which was issued on 16th September 2022, management of Nestle showed concern that the older generation major in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
The firm wrote: “With the Nigerian population expected to reach 230 million by 2025, food security is of considerable importance.
“Today the demand for food appears to be outstripping supply as a result of reduced productivity combined with post-harvest waste.
“To reverse this trend, we need innovative solutions to modernize our farming methods. We must look beyond the farmgate and harvest towards food transformation and preservation. This is where entrepreneurs in the agriculture space, also referred to as agripreneurs, come in.”
Nestle authority said that Nigeria is one of the youngest population with a median age of 18 years and about 70 per cent of the population is under 30 years, according to National Population Commission, yet the average age of farmers at the present time is 50 years.
It stressed that the age gap has to be filled to ensure that the country not only feeds the present generation but secure the future.
“To achieve this”, Nestle declared, “we must build sustainable food systems by attracting and building active youth participation in the agricultural sector.”