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Agriculture, panacea for curbing unemployment in Nigeria – Gov. Ayade

By Christian Njoku [NAN]

11

Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River says agriculture is the panacea for curbing  unemployment and youth restiveness in the country.

Ayade made the remarks in Calabar on Tuesday while addressing youths at a one-day summit tagged: “Promoting Agricultural Value Chain to boost Economic Development and Food Sufficiency’’.

The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, said that farming in the present era was an investment and not only for food production to meet the needs of the family.

Ayade implored all youths in the state to go into agriculture to boost their income and also address unemployment, which according to him, is behind most of the youth restiveness that are presently happening.

“Whether you are a civil servant, public servant, politician or whatever career you are practising, you can engage in farming.

“ Nobody will stop you; you can own as many farms as you can at any point in time.

“There are many programmes in the state geared towards providing funds to ease farming activities in the state.

“We have the Accelerated Agricultural Fund( AAF), where the sum of 1.5 billion naira has been approved for farmers.

“The FADAMA and Anchor Borrowers schemes are there to provide facilities at just one digit interest.

“I urge every youth to tap into these schemes to make life easy,’’ he said.

Ayade added that the state had established factories in the three senatorial districts for rice milling, cocoa processing and poultry products processing.

“ These factories need to be fed with inputs for processing and the best people to provide such are the youths,’’ the governor said.

In her remarks, the convener of the summit, Miss Precious Besong, Special Assistant to the Governor on Agricultural Extension Services, said the state is blessed with large and fertile land mass with which anyone could use to cultivate any crop and make abundant harvest.

“I encourage everyone to go into agriculture with investment mindset, to make profit and not as a way of life as our fathers and grandfathers did in the past.

“Every youth in the state can conveniently be accommodated in agriculture.

“With the passion the governor has for the youths, none of them will regret going into farming,’’ Besong said.

She, however, called on agricultural investors to invest in the state, adding that such investments would bring abundant returns. (NAN)

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