By Roland Bayode &
Agriculture and Environmental experts have called on Nigerian Youths to be actively involved in addressing the lingering food insecurity in the country, especially in the South West .
They noted that the task to provide food lies in the hands of youths in the country.
The experts further noted that while addressing food insecurity in the country, the environment must be protected from degradation.
They made the call at a programme organized by The Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI, Ondo state Network at the weekend to commemorate the international youth day.
The theme of this year’s International Youth Day celebration is “‘Transforming food systems: youth innovation for human and planetary health”.
An agricultural extension and Communication expert, Mr Olaoluwa Omolafe, described food system as an integrated part of the society which involves several processes before it gets done.
He said the climate is important to every process involved in food production which must adequately be protected.
Olaoluwa also proposed that youths should be involved in food production, using modern technology and ideas as he noted that old methods of farming cannot provide adequate food supply for the teeming population of Nigeria.
In ensuring food production while protecting the environment, he recommended the use of plastic and nylon wastes for planting crops through what he called ‘sack and container farming’.
He also advised farmers to use poultry dungs to fertilize their farmlands, rather than using chemical based fertilizers, saying that some chemicals, especially herbicide seals up farmland for a stretch of time.
Another agric expert, Mr Segun Oladipo, advised start-up farmers to consider other sources of incomes when venturing into farming because individual’s personal savings may not be enough to sustain a farmland.
He attributed agricultural problems to government policies, unavailability of farmland, lack of adequate storage facilities and social insecurity.
He suggested that government should provide ease of doing business, grant loans, subsidised farm tools and seedlings to youths and farmers to enhance food production.
In addition, Oladapo charges government to desist from initiating policies that are inimical to youth involvement in agric-based for agriculture.
This, he said, has worsened food insecurity in Nigeria.
The experts jointly called on the government to put an end to the incessant herders attacks on farmers, which he decried had been a major setback in providing quality food in the country.
They also called on Nigerians to make use of any available land space in their environment to engage in subsistence farming.